Reigning Olympic Champion
Born: 17 May 1984, Newham
Coach: Lloyd Cowan
Club: Newham & Essex Beagles
Christine was born in Newham, East London close to the site of the London 2012 stadium. She began her sporting career at St. Edwards C of E Secondary School in Romford, Essex and became a multi-talented pupil. She achieved national honours in netball, playing at England Under 17 level and Under 19 level, before concentrating on athletics.
After deciding to run the 800m race at a school sports day and winning, she was encouraged to join Newham & Essex Beagles AC by her PE teacher and a few years later took Bronze in the 400m at the European Junior Championships, her first major championships. A year later she made her Olympic debut in Athens and reached the semi final of the 400m, just missing out on a place in the final.
In 2006, Christine became Commonwealth Games Champion in Melbourne, Australia, she followed this with Gold at the World Championships in 2007 and Olympic Gold in Beijing in 2008. She is the only athlete to currently hold the Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games titles. More recently; Christine won the silver medal at 400m in the 2012 London Olympics.
Christine studied Linguistics at University College London and is one of eight children. She launched the UKA Academy at her old school St. Edward’s C of E Secondary School in Essex on 3 June 2009. She is keen to inspire young people to take up athletics in her role as Ambassador and ensure there is lasting legacy from the London 2012 Games in her home city.
Double Paralympic Champion
Born: 5th June 1979, Carshalton
Coach: Jenny Archer
Event: T54 Wheel racer
David was introduced to wheelchair racing at his primary school Bedelsford School in Kingston. His teacher got an application form for the London Mini Marathon and asked David whether he would like to race, so he first represented his school at the age of 8 in the London Mini Marathon and never looked back!
He made his Paralympic debut at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games at the age of 17, but then had a few years out of the sport, missing the Sydney Paralympic Games. He met up again with his coach Jenny Archer a couple of years later and set his sights on becoming the best Wheelchair racer in the world.
David took Bronze and Silver at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, then stormed to double Gold in the 800m and 1500m in Beijing 2008, plus Bronze and Silver in the 5,000m and 400m. Earlier this year, David underlined his superb talent by taking in Gold in the 800, 1500, and 5000 metres at the IPC World Championships in New Zealand. David's latest achievements include winning an incredible four Gold medals at London 2012 Olympics, he won Gold medals in the following events: 5000m, 1500m, Men's Marathon and 800m.
He is a big fan of Arsenal FC and is fully behind the development of Aviva Parallel Success in additional to his wider role as Ambassador of the UKA Academy encouraging young people to pursue their dreams in the sport.
Iwan Thomas MBE
British 400m Record Holder and Former European and Commonwealth Champion
Born: 5th January 1974, Farnborough
Club: Newham and Essex Beagles
Iwan was first inspired to take up athletics after watching the British team of Roger Black, Derek Redmond, John Regis and Kris Akabusi win the Gold in the 4 x 400m relay at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo. A year later, Iwan got his first athletics breakthrough at World Junior Athletics Championships as part of the British 4 x 400m relay team that finished 5th.
Throughout his school years, Iwan loved most sports and played 'County' standard in all he tried; but knew he had a real talent for athletics after taking part in 5 events at his school sports day, and breaking all 5 school records! Upon finishing secondary school, and taking his 'A-Levels', he went on to study Sport Science and Leisure Management at the West London Institute of Higher Education (now Brunel University); and whilst still at university he took part in the 400m at the 1994 Commonwealth Games where he reached the semi-finals, representing Wales. From there, he was selected to represent Britain in the 4 x 400m relay at 1995 European Athletics Cup and secured his first championship gold medal.
At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Iwan finished 5th in 400m Final and took the Silver medal in the 4 x 400m relay alongside Jamie Baulch, Mark Richardson and Roger Black.