Manchester Academy of Community Gymnastics want to engage with as many sections of society as possible, particularly those who would otherwise find it difficult to access top class sporting facilities. We have chosen ambassadors who we believe embody the spirit of tolerance and inclusion.
Inclusive Sports Ambassador
Kiera Byland, aged 19 years old from Bolton, came back from the SO World Games in 2015 as a triple gold medallist competing against females, and she has never looked back. Part of Great Britain's Cycling team in Los Angeles, she came back with an astonishing personal haul of three gold medals.
Kiera was selected to become the SOGB representative for Special Olympics Europe Eurasia (SOEE) meeting the remaining European athletes in October in Slovenia, where she delivered a joint presentation with SOEE staff about the art of storytelling to fundraise. From that, Kiera was invited to the Special Olympics Leadership Academy Level 2 event in Azerbaijan. Kiera learnt about goal setting, prioritising and what it takes to be a great Leader: she was truly inspirational showing just what athletes can offer.
In March 2017 Kiera went to Austria as SOGB Athlete Leader to participate in a Healthy Athletes Conference where she came back as a ‘SOGB Healthy Advocate’ and plans to pilot a project called FIT 5 within GB. Kiera will be launching this in early 2018.
It didn’t stop there as Kiera was offered a grant from Strider Bikes UK and GreaterSport to pilot balance bikes to early year’s children and has since become a strider bike Ambassador. The pilot saw fantastic media opportunities to promote Special Olympics and a chance for Kiera to shine as a qualified coach.
Kiera is still coaching every month at the British Cycling Disability Tub at Tameside, she does mentoring and guiding other young children in the local areas, not only in cycling but also in swimming.
Late July /Early August 2017 saw Kiera head off to Assen for the INAS World Championships competing as a guest in the female Time Trial, female Road Race and mixed Time Trial. Kiera came home a Double Gold Medallist with TWO rainbow jerseys.
Kiera says “Special Olympics has given me the chance to see a side of myself I didn’t know existed. It has made me challenge myself more than I thought I could do. It has given me a chance to not only compete with a variety of people, but also a chance to excel and show what I’m truly made of when presenting and promoting SOGB”
What the future holds… Well Kiera headed back to college in September 2017 doing a BTEC Level 3 in Sport.
She is training hard as she would like to compete in the INAS World championships in July 2018 which will be in Paris to defend her current titles.
Kiera has also applied for the Special Olympics World Games in 2019 to be held in Abu Dhabi representing Great Britain.
Kiera has recently become a Greater Sport Ambassador raising the profile of Special Olympics within the GM area helping to build a SO Greater Manchester Network with the NW region.
Kiera is now an Inclusive Sports Ambassador for Manchester Academy of Community Gymnastics. As SO Athlete Leader for the North West Kiera will support MAG to become an Inclusive provision encouraging children and young people to have a go, participate and to even compete. Kiera will be promoting the Special Olympics motto:
“Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt.”
Kiera also wants to be a truly inspirational Athlete leader for SOGB and Ambassador for MAG, she wants to continue to inspire other disabled people about how sports can help and become something to enjoy and love, Kiera wants to continue to be a coach and an Athlete Leader, with one of her long term goals to become a Special Olympics Global Messenger, to be employed as a coach and a presenter.
There is more than just pedal power to this special young lady...