PARALYMPIAN and Strictly Come Dancing star, Lauren Steadman, swapped the podium for the cheese counter as she danced her way through the aisles of Sainbury’s.
Lauren, who won silver medal in the Paratriathlon in Rio, was visiting the supermarket on Commercial Road to promote Sainsbury’s support for the Paralympian team. As part of the initiative, customers can purchase ParalympicsGB supper shopper bags from which 30 pence from every bag is donated to the paralympian team.
Lauren, who lives in Southsea and studied at the University of Portsmouth, enjoyed talking to staff and even did some shopping.
‘The paralympian team have a special relationship with Sainsbury’s. Sainsbury’s is such a huge brand it raises the profile of paralympians. I really enjoyed talking to staff and if me visiting the store helps bring a smile to people’s faces then that’s great,’ said Lauren.
Customer and training manager, Hannah Simmons, commented: ‘It was really inspiring to meet Lauren and brilliant to think she lives in Portsmouth.’
Lauren brought her silver medal and also spent time talking to children at Sainsbury’s Active Kids Holiday Club. Born missing her lower right arm she hopes to provide inspiration for children to overcome their own challenges.
Lauren said: ‘One of my favourite things is to meet and speak with children. For all you know that child could be the next Olympic or Paralympic athlete. I hope I have encouraged a few more kids to become active today, to be the best they can be and to overcome any barriers they may have.’
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s added: ‘Sainsbury’s was the first partner of ParalympicsGB in 2012 and is proud to continue its support for the team at Tokyo 2020 and to help change perceptions about what it means to have a disability.’
Since Rio, Lauren has become a household name and recently took part in Strictly Come Dancing.
‘I had a great partner in AJ and Strictly was one of the best experiences of my life,’ she said.
Lauren now faces the challenge of bettering her silver medal in Tokyo 2020.
‘I’ve just come back from Japan and everyone is really looking forward to it. I will definitely being going for gold,’ she said.