Nikki Paterson

Nikki Paterson

Para-canoe

Former Craftsman, Nikki served with the Army (REME) until February 2015. She is a right above knee amputee, and she has a lumbar sacral plexus injury resulting in right leg paralysis.

Nikki was involved in sport from the beginning of her recovery at Headley Court where she first came into contact with Help for Heroes. She was injured at the end of 2010, was referred to Headley Court where she went through all rehab. She later attended an IPC talent ID day with Help for Heroes in 2013 and was asked to go to a confirmation camp for GB ParaCanoe off the back of that. She started training with GB at the end of 2013, and was selected as part of the GB team in 2014. She competed in her first international competition (World Championships) in 2015 then again in 2016 – she won silver at both. She was selected as a reserve for the Rio Paralympics 2016.

Nikki says sport has been pivotal in her recovery: “It has allowed me to continue in a competitive, professional environment, which is very similar to that in the military and has made my transition to Civvi Street much easier.

“Sport initially helped me after my accident where I was able to regain confidence through achieving small goals in sport that I didn’t initially think I would be able to achieve.”

Nikki tried various sports before settling on canoeing, including skiing, rock climbing and Skeleton.

When asked what it means to be selected ontp the PiP Programme, Nikki says: “Being part of the PIP means a great deal to me, it means that although I am only the reserve for Rio, I will still be able to experience a lot of the atmosphere and venues that are unique to the Paralympics. I will still be able to take away a wealth of knowledge only available in that environment to help me best prepare moving forward to the Tokyo Games in 2020.”