Home » 5 mins with…Julie Rogers
Published On: 11 February 2022Categories: News

Julie RogersJulie Rogers was introduced to Pace Rehabilitation in 2013. Since then, she’s been a proud ambassador of our clinics and an inspiration to amputees all over the world. She has represented Great Britain in the Paralympic Games and has a successful career as a sports model and a mortgage adviser at a financial planning firm.

So, Julie, for people who aren’t aware, tell us about how you came to be an amputee…

I was born without the tibia and fibula in my right leg. The limb was amputated when I was  two, and then I had a further amputation through the knee at age five so I could be fitted with a more advanced prosthesis. Since then, I’ve refined my prosthesis to enable my lifestyle and in particular the sports and athletics I’m passionate about.

How did your sporting career start?  

I attended the London 2012 Paralympic Games as a sitting volleyball player at 13 years old. By 2013 I was curious about a new challenge if anything so started athletics. My brother was already at the track doing the hammer throw and I fancied the sprints and giving individual sport a go.

What happened when you made the switch from Volleyball to running?

For my classification, T63 (previously known as T42) I have good strength in both legs. I was fortunate to be spotted by British Athletics and I’ve been able to get first-class support from Pace Rehabilitation who were able to fit me with a bespoke advanced running prosthesis (and walking prosthesis).

This support and technology really powered my training and development. In my first full athletics season I went from an unofficial ranking of 10th in the world, to being given my junior debut for Great Britain at the World Junior Games – an incredible experience. Since then, I’ve competed in senior major championships  such as the Rio Paralympics in 2016 and the World Championships in 2017.

You sustained an injury which prevented you from going to the Tokyo games. How are you getting on with it now?

I was devastated because I’d had a brilliant year of training up until that point. I was only a few weeks away from selection and I tripped and fractured the end of my femur. It was hugely frustrating but I focused hard on my rehabilitation and I’m now back to full fitness – probably stronger than ever before.

It was a very painful but frustrating injury. Fortunately, structurally as an injury it has very little long term or ongoing problems for athletes. As a broken bone it just needed to heal.

Unfortunately, however the injury meant I wasn’t able to perform at the level needed for Tokyo selection. This year I’m focused on the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. I’m really pleased and privileged to be working with two top coaches in Greg Thompson (a highly ranked discus thrower and biomechanics expert) and Morgan Jones in sprints.

Tell us about your modelling career.

I’m proud to work with Forte Model Management who work with authentic sportspeople to support advertising and marketing campaigns by brands all over the world. I’ve worked with on many campaigns for brands like Sweaty Betty, Sports Direct and Nike. I also recently featured in the Spanish edition of Vogue. I’m also looking forward to my new partnership with Ossur who the world leaders in prosthetics including their sprint blades. I’ve also some other exciting partnerships which hopefully I’ll be allowed to announce soon!

What’s next?

I’m going to continue to work with great companies who want to reflect their diverse audience in their sports campaigns, progress my career in financial services and keep my training on track for the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

My race times in the last block represented my fastest competition times in 4 years – excelling beyond my average even in Rio 2016 and London 2017 PB years. My threshold of performance was better despite still having the fracture. Plenty to look forward to in 2022!

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