Image Nikki Emerson wheel chair athlete

Nikki is an ex-wheelchair racer who competed in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and marathon at international level until 2013. She now races for fun alongside working in the Commercial team for a Premier League football club.

In 2008 Nikki was driving back from Oxford University, where she was studying neuroscience and psychology, when she had a near-fatal car crash. The car flipped over and her seat slammed her into the steering wheel. It took three hours for the fire brigade to cut her free, during which time she lost feeling in her legs due to breaking her spine at T10 level with the bottom of her ribs.

Nikki spent 10 weeks at Stoke Mandeville National Spinal Injuries Centre undergoing intensive physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. She was told she’d never walk again and had to adapt to life in a wheelchair. During this time in hospital she watched the Beijing Paralympics was inspired to take up Paralympic sport by the athletes she saw on screen. She now competes against these athletes internationally and still gets star struck occasionally!

After a few months training with GB Rowing Nikki’s potential in athletics was picked up at a British Paralympic Association talent-spotting day and after a visit to the BPA Fast Track Power and Performance training camp from Dr Ian Thompson and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Nikki was persuaded to try wheelchair racing. Her first race was the Silverstone half marathon where she qualified for the 2009 London marathon.

After being given a bespoke racing wheelchair by Wheelpower Nikki came fourth in the 2010 London Marathon and won four medals at the 2010 U23 World Track Championships. She also won bronze in the Great North Run. At the end of the season she was ranked 6th in the world for the T53 800m and 7th in the world for the wheelchair marathon. In 2011 and 2012 Nikki won the Great Manchester 10k and achieved the IPC Paralympic A Standards for London 2012 in the T53 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.

Alongside racing Nikki worked full time for LOCOG, add-victor and Tough Mudder and completed an undergraduate degree at Oxford University and her Masters degree at Loughborough Univeristy. For full CV please see her LinkedIn profile.
In addition to racing and working Nikki volunteers as an Ambassador for WheelPower and an Atalantas Trustee. She is passionate about promoting sport among disabled people and chidren both for fitness and as a pathway to international achievement, and is always open to requests to support these objectives. Please use the contect form for requests.