Julie Rogers

Julie Rogers in action in the shot put at Cardiff. Pic: Owen Morgan

GB Star Julie Rogers Goes In Search Of Another World To Conquer

By Owen Morgan

Julie Rogers is no stranger to a sporting challenge.

In 2012 she competed as a 13-year-old in the seated volleyball at the 2012 Paralympics in London.

Last year, the Disability Sport Wales and Cardiff Met athlete represented Wales at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in the F63 discus.

In between, she established herself as one of the fastest para sprinters in the United Kingdom – competing at the Rio Paralympics in 2016.

Now, the 24-year-old is setting her sights on representing Great Britain in the shot put with the 2024 Paralympics in Paris looming on the horizon next summer, while the same city will host the Para Athletics World Championships in July.

Having finished eighth in the discus at last summer’s Commonwealth Games, Rogers launched her competitive shot career in Cardiff last week.

Competing at the Welsh Athletics Run With the Wind event at the Cardiff International Sports Campus, she registered a best distance of 7.72m.

“It was actually my first shot competition,” said Rogers afterwards.

“I’ve been transitioning from the discus since the Commies last year. So, it was a good little opener and lots to take away from it for the next comp.”

Rogers is hoping her sporting versatility and experience will stand her in good stead in the shot put.

“I’ve just been introduced into the Paralympic programme and I want to apply the power that I’ve got and have learned from other events to the shot. I’ve got a good team around me to do that,” she said.

After taking her bow in the sporting world as one of the youngest competitors at the London Paralympics, Rogers went on to establish herself as an international sprinter.

After just one full season she was ranked 10th in the world over 100m.

By the Rio Olympics, the successful sports model and mortgage advisor was ranked fifth in the world and was selected for the GB team which travelled to Brazil, where she competed in the T42 100m.

A year later, Rogers was back at the Olympic Stadium in London for the World Para Athletics Championships, where she finished sixth in the T42 100m final.

Since then, she has sprinted at Diamond League events in Rome, Oslo and Brussels, although she missed out on the Tokyo Paralympics due to injury.

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In 2022, Rogers switched to the discus with such success that she represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games where she finished eighth.

Despite having spent the past winter targeting her transition to the shot put, she will also compete in the sprints this season.

“After the Commies, it was big learning curve for me, basically setting up for the Paralympics. That’s the aim,” said the athlete who was born without a tibia and fibula in her right leg, resulting in an amputation when she was just two years old.

Julie Rogers making her shot put debut in Cardiff. Pic: Owen Morgan.

“I’m always up for a new challenge, learning how to be as good as I can be at an event and making sure I’m learning from the right people. I’ve been enjoying the process. I’ve got a good team around me.”

Asked about her goals for the coming season, Rogers said: “This is my first season doing shot, so my own expectations suggest having a good introductory season, perform at the level I can and then go into the winter strong. I’ll still do the sprints as well and go for it next year.”

“I’m hoping to be in the mix, it’s a new event, and I’m certainly hoping to be up there, but we’ll see.”

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