Paralympic gold medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate of Britain has been appointed as an ambassador for the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (Inas).
The swimmer won the S14 200 metres freestyle event in record-breaking fashion at London 2012 and was her nation’s only S14 Paralympic champion at the Games.
Her performances on home soil saw her appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List and she hailed the work of Inas, which represents over 130,000 athletes across the globe.
“I am very excited to become an Ambassador for Inas,” the 19-year-old, recently crowned the Para-athlete of the year at the British Swimming Awards, said.
“Inas make it possible for people with an intellectual disability to be able to compete at an international level.
“They open up the pathway to enable athletes like myself to compete on the international stage against the best intellectually disabled athletes in the world.
“I have no doubt this has helped me become the Paralympic athlete I am today.
“I also think it is very important to support everyone that supports you - their work as a charity is massively important to athletes at every level.”
Following her victory at London 2012, she then went on to clinch gold at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships in the same event in Montreal, where she also claimed silver and bronze.
Applegate recently struck gold at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, this time powering to victory in the S14 100m backstroke as she had to settle for silver in the 200m freestyle race.
“With such a busy training and competition schedule to maintain, we are really honoured that Jessica-Jane has accepted this role,” Inas executive director Nick Parr said.
“Inas has ambitious plans to support more athletes in more nations, and - through her incredible performances - Jessica-Jane is an inspiration to all athletes with an intellectual disability.
“Her support for Inas will help us achieve our mission - particularly with the Rio Paralympic Games less than a year away - inspiring a new generation of athletes to get involved.”
August 2015: British Swimming launches inaugural awards
April 2015: New sponsorship deal is cut above the rest for British swimmer
February 2013: Paralympic swimming champion Applegate has new building named in her honour
September 2012: Swimmer makes history as first intellectually disabled Briton to strike gold at London 2012 Paralympics