Loughborough’s Kravchenko aims to inspire the next generation of Para sport talent (VIDEO)

Loughborough University masters student, Vladyslava Kravchenko, is on a mission to inspire the next generation of Para sport talent.

The 29-year-old is set to represent Malta in the S5 swimming class at this summer’s Paralympic Games and has her sights on more than just records and medals.

At the 2016 Games in Rio, Vlady became the first female athlete since 1980 to compete for Malta and she now hopes her own experiences can pave the way for other talented athletes.

“Malta has so many talented athletes with so much potential that it’s unacceptable that in 2016 I was the first female swimmer that goes [to the Games],” she told Loughborough Sport.

“After that, I actively took part in the set-up of the Malta Paralympic Committee and now, I’m the athletes’ representative on the board. Our goal is to attract more athletes to performance Para sport.”

She added:

“I know that a lot of athletes use their public profile to showcase what they do in sport. I chose a different direction…I hope that this time in Tokyo I won’t be the only athlete.”

Vlady’s coach, Gareth McNarry, also explained how she is making a difference both in and out of the pool:

“As someone who had an accident and ended up with her injury, she sees sport as a vehicle for change for her and other people with impairments.

“It’s part of the reason she’s running for IPC (International Paralympic Committee) athlete council membership. She feels that’s a big part of sport and it’s not just about those times and medals.”

Loughborough University has launched a new initiative for those looking to support the future of Para sport on campus. By supporting the Para Sport programme, individuals can make a profound impact to a young person’s life. To find out more and how to donate, click HERE.

For more information on Loughborough and its presence at the Paralympic Games, visit the dedicated website HERE.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 21/175

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in the Guardian University League Table 2021, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.