Dr Sarah Leiter, of the Goalball Women’s GB Team, has been lauded at the Woman of the Future Awards for her dedication to sport.
Sharing the accolade in the Sport category with Alex Paske, Managing Director of sports events and mentoring events company Mintridge Events, Sarah was recognised alongside other rising stars across business, culture, media and academia.
A student at Newnham College, Cambridge, Sarah trains with the Cambridge Dons. Having submitted her thesis on Clinical Biochemistry last year, Sarah has returned her medical studies as part of an MB/PhD programme and hopes to pursue a career in genetics and rare disease research.
Goalball is the only Paralympic team sport designed specifically for the visually impaired. Played with raised markings on the floor, blindfolds are used to ensure an even playing field as players locate the ball through sound.
The Women of the Future Awards, founded by Pinky Lilani CBE DL in 2006, were conceived to provide a platform for the remarkable female talent in the UK. HRH The Countess of Wessex is the awards Global Ambassador, with Cherie Blair CBE as WOF Awards patron. Sir John Peace, Chairman of Burberry is the Chairman of the Awards judging panel.
The Women of the Future Programme enables opportunities through the Women of the Future Network and Women of the Future Ambassadors Programme.
Sarah said: “It was amazing to be nominated alongside so many talented women. Playing goalball alongside my studies has given me to opportunity to travel to international competitions, train and compete around the country.
“I’m also grateful to the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) who have supported my training as part of my studies at Newnham and ensured and I can concentrate on training and improving.”
“It’s an honour to accept the award alongside Alex, whose work is showing just how vital role models in sport are. I hope I can continue to thrive within goalball and hopefully inspire new people to get involved in the sport.”
Mark Winder, CEO of Goalball UK said: “Sarah is the definition of a role model – a PhD recipient, trainee doctor and an elite athlete. As with all of our GB players, she demonstrates to the next generation of players that their visually impairment should have no bearing on their future achievements.
“We are immensely proud of Sarah representing the sport at the Women of the Future Awards. She is a huge asset to the goalball and to visually impaired sport as a whole – this nomination is a testament to her passion, hard work and dedication.”