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Molly's masterclass with Marlou

Molly with Marlou Van Rhijn Photo: Sport Wales

An aspiring young para-athlete had an experience she'll never forget when she met a Paralympic champion.

Molly Hopkins met Dutch gold medallist Marlou Van Rhijn. Molley met champion Van Rhijn during a trip to Berlin ahead of the IPC Athletics European Championships, which will be taking place in Swansea.

Marlou Van Rhijn is the world’s fastest female leg amputee and Molly told her all about what to look forward to in Swansea. In return, Molly enjoyed a masterclass from one of the world's best.

Molly with Marlou Van Rhijn Credit: lucpercivalphotography.com

“It was amazing. To get the chance to travel to Germany and meet so many top athletes is something I won’t forget. “Even though she was competing at a major event, Marlou was amazing and we talked for ages about what inspired us to get into sport.

“I was telling her about Swansea, how nice it is and that the people are really friendly. She said she was looking forward to coming over.

“I even got to go out for dinner with the Welsh athletes, including Aled Davies and Josie Pearson.

“I can’t wait to see them again.”

– Molly Hopkins

“It really was a unique experience and she loved every minute.

“The thing that really struck us was the time that all the athletes had for Molly. Marlou was fantastic and they really seemed to enjoy each other’s company. When we went out for dinner with the Welsh athletes we didn’t really see Molly because she was sat with Josie Pearson the whole time.”

– Gareth Hopkins, Molly's dad
Molly being put through her paces by Marlou Van Rhijn Credit: lucpercivalphotography.com