Palmer and Harvey’s Sophia Warner sets European record at IPC Athletics World Championships

Sophia_warnerA senior Palmer and Harvey marketer clocked a European record and two lifetime bests at the IPC Athletics World Championships in New Zealand this week.

Sophia Warner, who has Cerebral Palsy, snitched silver in the 200m at the global Paralympic competition with a personal best time of 37.04, smashing her previous best mark by over two seconds. In the 100m she set a new European record and personal best of 17.71 seconds, claiming the bronze.

She is ranked number one in Europe in the 100m, and number two in the world. In the 200m she is ranked number two in Europe and three in the world.

In her day job, Sophia is a category marketing controller at Palmer and Harvey (P&H), the UK’s number one delivered wholesaler, and balances 21 hours a week training both at the gym and on the track with her demanding career as a marketer.

She is also a mother to Felix (4) and Lucca (6). Sophia trains with the Worthing Harriers and at Lee Valley Athletics Centre, a national centre for athletics training in north London.

The IPC Athletics World Championships are taking place in Christchurch, New Zealand, and are the last major senior-level Paralympic event to take place prior to the London 2012 Paralympics.

To add to her accolades, Sophia has recently been awarded Disabled Sports Personality of the Year at the Sussex Sports Awards.
Despite having Cerebral Palsy – a life-long condition that affects motor control – Sophia also competes in races against able-bodied competitors.

“I’m so pleased, it’s a really good PB and just shows how everything I’ve been doing in training since September has benefited me,” she said, referring to her strength training focus over the past three months.

Sophia says: “I’ve changed the way I train and I’ve focused so much more on strength. I’ve been concentrating on getting my start right and I think I did that. I got stronger as the race went on, which bodes well for the 200m.

“P&H has been phenomenal in supporting me in getting to the World Championships. I am so grateful that they have given my family the chance to attend the competition in person.”

Richard Hayhoe, marketing director at P&H, says: “Sophia is fantastic. Her drive and tenacity is an example to us all, both in the office and on the track. We’ve all been cheering her on at the World Championships.”