Para-Equestrian Dressage’s Emma Douglas from Buckinghamshire, has been shortlisted for the Women of the Future (WOF) Awards, which recognise the inspirational young female stars of today and tomorrow.
The thirty-year-old, who has been a member of the UK Sport Lottery funded World Class Podium Potential Programme since 2014, made her para-dressage debut in 2010 after being encouraged to take up the sport following her accident by her former coach, Erik MacKenchnie. Emma now trains with Sacha Hamilton.
The Women of the Future Awards are open to women aged 35 or under and celebrate talent across categories including business, culture, media, technology and more. Commenting on her nomination Emma said; “I feel very honoured to a part of this and to be on the shortlist alongside some incredible ladies in this category.”
Earlier in the year Emma produced a career highlight at the FEI International competition at Bishop Burton where she scooped a second and third placing in the Grade II class with her horse, Apart, before heading out to Rio two months later with as part of ParalympicsGB’s Inspiration Programme, which aims to help prepare athletes for future Games.
“I was lucky enough to go out to Rio as part of the British Paralympic Association’s Paralympic Inspiration Programme and this was a great opportunity for me to watch our para-dressage team and take in the atmosphere. With my aim set towards Tokyo and the 2024 Games, it was a great ice breaker.”
Whilst out in Rio, Emma got to experience first-hand what a Games environment is like as well as watching some of the GB athletes who have inspired her during her journey; “I admire several people for different reasons... Lee Pearson is a household name for the sport and I started following him after my accident, he made me believe I could get back in the saddle. I think the commitment and drive Sophie Wells displays is amazing, and it shows how much it pays off, and Sophie Christiansen [who won the 2015 Women of the Future Award for Sport] proves anything is possible, to not let disability to stand in the way.”
Pinky Lilani CBE DL, Founder, Women of the Future, said: “This year’s shortlist demonstrates that the pipeline of female talent in the UK is stronger than ever. We were delighted with the quality and diversity of the applications we received this year, which made it an incredibly difficult task to decide on the final few. Congratulations to all of our very well-deserving shortlist.”
The winners will be announced at the Women of the Future Awards gala dinner on November 16, held at the London Hilton on Park Lane.
See the shortlists for all the awards here.