Olivia Gallagher, a current student studying BA Sports Communications and Marketing at St Mary’s University, Twickenham has been named as one of Britain’s most influential disabled people in the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100.
The Disability Power 100 aims to change the perception of disability by giving recognition to successful individuals to encourage others to follow by example and achieve their full potential, regardless of their disability or impairment.
...no mountain is ever too high with determination you can reach the top.
Olivia was one of six selected in the Judges Choice category. She has Cerebral Palsy that affects all four limbs, profound hearing impairment and severe visual impairment. Olivia is an ambassador for The Weir Archer Academy and Ability Today and has given talks on promoting equality in female disability sport, and inclusion and diversity at a number of local and national events.
Olivia is also a Sports Scholar at St Mary’s as a wheelchair racing athlete. Since entering the sport in 2014, Olivia has competed at the 2018 CPISRA World Games in Barcelona where she earned bronze and silver medals for England. At the Muller Anniversary Games in 2019, she set a personal best in the 100m. In 2018 she was named Pride of Sport young sportsperson of the year and is currently the British number one and ranks 4th worldwide in her classification.
Head of the Communications, Media and Marketing Programmes at St Mary's Jon Hackett said, “Olivia can be immensely proud of this achievement. She is a real asset to the student community at St Mary’s University.”
Speaking of her achievement Olivia said, “Don’t see disability as a barrier, it’s about what you can do not what you can’t, and no mountain is ever too high with determination you can reach the top.’’
Sport Development Manager at St Mary’s Gareth Crewe said, “Olivia has been a Sport Scholar at St Mary’s for two years, and this achievement further recognises her successes and influence within her sport. The award is a great testament to Olivia’s attitude and desire to achieve in both her sport and her academics, and we’re incredibly proud to see her name alongside such influential role models.”