Paralympic wheelchair racer Jade Jones will make the keynote speech at the University of Chester Diversity Festival this year.
Connect and Thrive is the theme of the event, from Monday, February 27 to Friday, March 10, which offers an opportunity to learn and experience different cultures and perspectives.
The fortnight is filled with seminars, lectures, workshops and conferences on a range of topics, with something for everyone.
Jade, who competed at the Rio Paralympic Games in the 400m, 800m and 1,500m T54 class, was born without a right femur, which meant that she would have to use crutches or a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
She opted to have her foot amputated at the age of eight, but it was not until the age of 12 that the opportunity to try a racing chair presented itself at a school sports day. Watching that day was Paralympic legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, who, seeing Jade’s determination and talent, invited her to a training session and has gone on to train and mentor Jade ever since.
Her address will give attendees the opportunity to take away practical messages around overcoming obstacles, setting goals, determination and confidence that can be applied to both professional and personal lives.
Other highlights of the festival include:
Tackling Racial Inequalities with Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation on Tuesday, February 28 from 5.15pm. This panel session will consider the views and experiences of key stakeholders on the issue of racism in football, with a focus on ways to tackle the problem and promote inclusion and equality within the game
Positive Representations of Disabled People in Employment on March 1 is aimed at anyone with or without a disability, members of the community and employers who wish to recruit, select and support disabled people better.
Increased awareness and understanding of issues related to Gypsy Traveller communities - an all-day session on Wednesday, March 8 provides an understanding of the cultural needs and legislative duties in relation to these communities and gives practical ideas to help to improve communication with these communities.
The full programme of events is available from www.chester.ac.uk/about/diversity-and-equality/diversity- festival
All events are open to members of the public and are free but booking is essential.
Jade will deliver her speech on Monday, February 27 from 11am to 12pm in Room CWE019 in the Westminster Building at the University’s Parkgate Road Campus.