Paralympian Melissa Reid has revealed the food industry sponsorship which helped set her on the road to Rio.
Melissa and her sponsors the Brian Etherington Meat Company, hope that her success will encourage young people with impairments to pursue sport at the highest level.
Melissa, who is visually impaired, competed alongside her guide Nicole Walters in the PT5 Paratriathlon on Copacabana Beach this month.
In a gruelling race with a dramatic ending, Melissa finished in third place, securing a Bronze Medal for Team GB and contributing to a remarkable medal tally for our Paralympians.
Her achievement was in part made possible by sponsorship from the Brian Etherington Meat Company, who gifted the talented sportswoman £2,000 towards upgrading her road bike, and travel to Brazil.
Melissa said: “I’m hugely grateful to the Brian Etherington Meat Company for getting behind me. As well as providing a very generous cash boost to my team, they have also been really enthusiastic and vocal supporters during the build-up to my event, which helped spur me on.”
Melissa, who is 25, turned a set-back into an opportunity when she was told she couldn’t become a beach lifeguard due to her visual impairment:
“I quickly found something new to aim for, where my vision could be embraced as a part of who I am. I found the world of sport, and in particular the paratriathlon.”
She continues: “I hope that my trip to Rio will inspire young people with physical disabilities to try different sports, and find something they really love doing. Personally, I’m hoping to compete at Tokyo in four years’ time and see if I can improve on my Bronze Medal!”
The Brian Etherington Meat Company is based at Wheal Rose in Cornwall, just a few miles from Porthtowan where Melissa grew up and still lives today.
Managing Director Mark Etherington said: “Melissa is a remarkable sportswoman who works incredibly hard. We regularly see her out training, and jumped at the chance to help her in her quest to achieve a medal at Rio. I hope her achievement will create a valuable legacy for future generations.”
Mark added: “We’re a family business, and being part of the local community is important to us. Sponsoring worthwhile causes is just one part of that.”
The Brian Etherington Meat Company, which comprises a wholesale business, farm shop, butchery academy and pasty company, has been in business for more than 60 years.
The company specialises in high quality meat from locally reared and rare breed animals, which is distributed to top restaurants and hotels throughout the South West and beyond, as well as sold alongside other Cornish produce at the popular Farm Shop.
To keep up to date with the latest news, visit https://www.etherington-meats.co.uk/our-news