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Danielle Brown MBE

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Danielle Brown is an archer. She is a double Paralympic gold medallist and five times World Champion. She was World Number 1 for her entire career. She also achieved something that very few disabled athletes achieve – she successfully transitioned on to the able-bodied team.

A natural communicator, as a speaker Danielle is articulate, approachable, open, honest, friendly and with a genuine wish to share her experience and to help others. Refreshingly, in an age of “sports celebrity”, she does not have the “prima donna attitude” but simply works hard, with focus, to ensure the success of events at which she is invited to speak.

Danielle wanted to discover what it took to be the best in the world. She got there, because she always believed she would.

Born in Yorkshire in 1988, Danielle shared her parents’ passion for the outdoors and her childhood was filled with sporting activities. This came crashing to a halt as a teenager when she was inflicted with constant, chronic pain in her feet. This was eventually diagnosed as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which affected all areas of her life. But she was determined that it wasn't going to beat her, so she looked for a sport that she could do. She took up archery for her fifteenth birthday and started her very rapid rise to Paralympic glory, which would see her dominate her field for over seven years. At the same time, fitted in with her training schedule, she studied for a Degree in Law, and graduated with First Class Honours.

Winning gold in Beijing was an incredible experience. Danielle was hungry for more and moved to the Archery Performance Centre at Lilleshall, to train full time. Always striving to improve, she achieved something exceptionally rare: she was selected for the able-bodied team. In 2010, she became the first disabled athlete to represent England in an able-bodied discipline and won the gold medal in the team event.

London 2012 was her target. Danielle worked incredibly hard, determined to retain her Paralympic title in this prestigious setting. The proudest moment of her life was receiving her gold medal in front of that home crowd at London. The support of the entire country was overwhelming. But it was also the first time that her family and friends had seen her compete internationally and this made standing on the podium a very special moment.

Archery has been such a big part of Danielle's life and she was fully committed to making the team for Rio and trying for her third gold medal. But life has a way of throwing setbacks at us when we least expect it. In 2013, the rules of competition were changed. Danielle learned that she failed to classify under the new rules and that she could no longer compete at Paralympic events.

Danielle had started archery because she was fed up with all the limitations imposed on her life and archery helped a disillusioned teenager come to terms with having a disability. 

In one moment, for reasons completely outside her control, everything she had worked so hard for was gone. Simply because she didn’t “tick a box”. 

Danielle is now working on other exciting projects and challenges, where she is determined to be as much of a success as she has been in her sport. She helps other people to achieve their ambitions and goals through motivational speaking, sport psychology sessions and working with the education and business sectors to minimise the impact of nerves and stress.

Danielle’s corporate clients include: 

RBS, Serco, Hermes, National Express, Zen Communications, Peninsula Business Services Ltd, ATL (NEU), Kohler Mira, British Athletics, Broomfield and Alexander, Made In The Midlands, Mensa, Buy Yorkshire, Shrewsbury Hospital, North Yorkshire County Council, Luton Council of Faiths, HMPS Foston Hall (HM Prison Service),The Business Desk, Harper Adams University, The University of Wolverhampton, The University of Leicester, Queen Mary University, The University of Coventry, The University of Aberdeen, Birmingham Metropolitan College and North Shropshire College.

Awards and Achievements

  • Awarded an MBE for services to Archery in the New Year Honours list 2015
  • Honorary Fellowship from the University of Wolverhampton for her services to sport and the work she has done with sports students
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Leicester
  • Awarded the Freedom of the City of London and made a Freeman Archer of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers (2014)
  • First Class Degree in Law from the University of Leicester
  • Awarded Alumna of the Year, University of Leicester, 2012

Sporting Honours and Titles

  • 2014  2nd at the UK National Series Event (2014)
  • 2013  Paralympic World Championships, Bangkok: silver medals in individual and mixed team events.
  • World Championships, Turkey: 4th place in the women's compound team in Danielle's first able-bodied Championships
  • 2012  London Paralympic Games: gold in the open women's event
  • World Cup Finals, Tokyo: silver medal in the able-bodied women's event
  • First place at the Nimes Indoor World Cup stage (able-bodied)
  • 2011 Paralympic World Championships, Turin: gold in the individual event, and 2 silver medals in the team and mixed team
  • 2010  Commonwealth Games, Delhi: gold team medal: Danielle was the first disabled competitor to represent England in an able-bodied discipline
  • European Championships, Vichy: 2 gold medals for the individual and mixed team events, and also a silver in the women's team
  • 2009  Paralympic World Championships, Czech Republic: 2 gold medals for individual and team events
  • 2008  Beijing Paralympic Games: gold in the open women's event
  • 2007  Paralympic World Championships, Korea: 2 gold medals for both the individual and team events

 

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