I am sure that it will come as no great surprise to readers to learn that the last four weeks have been incredibly busy here in Westminster. There have been a great number of changes – not least at 10 Downing Street – and I look forward to welcoming new Ministers to the Despatch Box for their debut appearances upon the House’s return in September.
Over the coming weeks, I shall take the opportunity of spending some quality time with my family but I am also greatly looking to forward to following the progress of TeamGB and ParalympicsGB at the long-anticipated 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It seems hard to believe that four years have passed since London 2012 but I am sure that we will all be cheering on our teams just as enthusiastically as we did in 2012.
I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon watching the wheelchair tennis at Eton Manor in 2015 and at the end of June, I had the privilege of welcoming ParalympicsGBS Chef de Mission, Penny Briscoe, to Parliament to announce formally ParalympicsGB’s tennis team for Rio 2016. It was an honour to spend time speaking to and hearing from such dedicated and talented athletes and I took the opportunity to wish them well on their countdown to Rio. Among others, this year’s team includes 2012 medal winners Jordanne Whiley, Lucy Shuker and Andy Lapthorne as well as Gordon Reid who won both the men’s wheelchair doubles and singles titles at Wimbledon earlier this month.
London 2012 was a fantastic showcase of British sporting ability and I would like to take this opportunity to wish both team the very best of luck in Rio. ParalympicsGB in particular have been in the top three of the medal tables over the last four games and I am confident that this winning streak will continue this summer in Brazil.
First published in the Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser on Friday 29th July 2016.
Geographically, Buckingham is a rather large constituency but in spite of its rurality, and the great distances which sometimes separate one settlement from its nearest neighbour, I am repeatedly struck by the strong sense of community I observe when I visit local towns and villages.