Emily Sweeney, a member of the Team GB Weightlifting team, who has competed across the UK and Europe, has urged young people living in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to get vaccinated, as the new academic year gets underway.
The 17-year-old from Ellesmere, had her jab at the vaccination centre at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) this week.
Emily has a string of sporting accomplishments under her belt, having competed in the European Youth Championships with Team GB in December 2019 in Israel, where she was placed sixth.
Earlier this year, she competed in the English Championships virtually and won her category.
She was then also named SBD Young Weightlifter of the Year by British Weightlifting.
Last November, Emily also competed virtually in the World Youth Cup, where she was placed sixth.
Speaking after having her jab, she said: “Everybody has sacrificed so much during the pandemic – things that beforehand we all took for granted but not anymore. The vaccine offers us hope.
“It’s the only way things will return to normal, which is why I’d encourage everyone but particularly those 16 and over, where possible, to get their Covid-19 vaccine, as the new school and college year is here.
“I understand you can’t make everybody but in my circumstances I believe that getting the vaccine was definitely the right decision personally.
“For me, there are a whole load of reasons why having the vaccine is important to me. Not only is it protecting me, it’s protecting my parents, grandparents, other members of my family, as well as my friends.
“I, personally, have chosen to be vaccinated to make travelling abroad a lot easier for me. I work extremely hard, I train five to six times a week – so it was a no brainer for me to take the vaccine, when it was my time to do so.
“I do everything I can to keep fit and healthy, such as through diet and training, being vaccinated against Covid is just another way of ensuring I’m in the best health possible.”
Angie Wallace, Senior Responsible Officer and Programme Director for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin’s Covid Vaccination Service, added: “I would encourage anyone who is 16 or 17 to come forward for their vaccination as soon as they can.
“As Emily rightly says, getting vaccinated ensures we can get back to doing the things we love and for life to return to normal. A big thank you to Emily for speaking up and encouraging her peers to get their vaccine. I know that she’s an absolute inspiration to so many given her dedication and fantastic accomplishments.
“I wish her well in her upcoming competitions.”
More than 700,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been given to local people across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin thanks to the hard work of the vaccination programme team, including NHS staff and volunteers.