Aspirations day at Trinity Road Primary School 17th October 2012

Head Teacher’s Message

On Wednesday we held our first ever Aspirations Day –

It was amazing! We had over 15 visiting experts including actresses, police officers, midwives, explorers, author’s, astronomers, engineers and remote control vehicle builders. Our children met many of these willing volunteers who gave up their time to spend a day inspiring our children. We also had a mystery guest: – Jo-Jo Cranfield is a paralympic hopeful for Rio 2016. She is the current British record holder for s9 1500m freestyle Jo-Jo spoke openly with the children about the challenges she has faced but left us with her motto – “Never give up”

Marie Staley
Head Teacher
Trinity Road Primary School  

Westborough Year 6 Assembly 10 Sep 2012

Over the last few years Jo-Jo has visited The Westborough School many times, she has formed a very strong bond with the children. The children at Westborough look up to her and admire her sporting success.
The Head Teacher thought that Jo-Jo would be the ideal person/athlete to give a talk to the year 6 children on resilience, to help encourage them not to give up, especially when things don’t go the way they want them to.
They invited Jo-Jo for that very reason, she is a true inspiration, she didn’t make it to London 2012 but she certainly has not given up her dream of being on the Paralympic Podium. So watch out RIO 2016 Jo-Jo’s on her way!

Spare Parts London 2012 Art Exhibition

And now for something completely different  redface 

I was asked if I would like to model (me a model) and take part in an alternative limb project by Sophie de Oliveira barata for Spare Parts London 2012 art exhibition.

Sophie is a lovely talented person who creates unique prosthetics, the most amazing limbs you have ever seen. Sophie can create realistic and fantasy limbs for everybody’s desires.

I jumped at the chance of being a model and having a bespoke alternative limb designed especially for me. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Who in their right mind would turn down such an offer? (not me!)

After a few meetings with Sophie we decided that an alternative limb incorporating fish would be a good idea what with me being a swimmer. I suppose it’s a little bit like Batman.batman-emoticon Batman chose bats as his symbol because he dislikes them so much and to help him overcome his fear of bats. Can you see where I am going with fish, I really don’t like them. Perhaps I can be like Batman and overcome my fear of fish. I don’t think so, do you? They send shivers down my spine just thinking about them. That’s why we settled on Snakes another great passion of mine (not).

The bespoke Snake arm is out of this world, it is quite simply amazing. It looks so realistic, apart from the bit where the snakes are slithering through a cavity in my forearm, its so creepy but cool at the same time. I love it. ♥  Dare I say it a little bit erotic?

I am hoping that perhaps one day in the very near future that Sophie will make me a Fish arm or as many alternative limbs that she would like.

A few pieces of Sophie’s alternative limbs are now on display at Spare Parts London 2012 exhibition at

The Rag Factory situated just of off Brick Lane in London E1 from the 25th August to the 9th September 2012

Alternatively view Sophies work and contact details on her website

The Westborough School Olympic Torch

The Westborough School in Westcliff-on-Sea celebrated the Olympic Torch (Schools) hand over with a little help from Jo-Jo

Darlinghurst Primary and Nursery School

Jo-Jo was invited to Darlinghurst Primary & Nursery School in Westcliff-on-Sea in Essex during there Sports week to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics.

Jo-Jo gave several inspirational talks and answered many of the children’s questions throughout the day she even joined in with their Sporting activities and signed many autographs.  

Queens Diamond Jubilee Fete Opening


On the 4th June Jo-Jo officially opened The Hockley & Hawkwell Diamond Jubilee Celebrations/Fete. Yeah! The rain did stop and the sun did come out to play, just long enough for people to enjoy the celebrations. Hip! Hip! Hooray! to her Majesty.




Olympic Park – VIP Guest – Sainsbury’s School Games 2012

As a former Beckwith Scholar and a past UK School Games Champion, I was invited as a VIP guest to the Olympic Park to present medals to this years Sainsburys 2012 School Games Champions.

I really enjoyed myself it was lovely spending time with Geri Halliwell, Sir John and Henry Beckwith and meeting Bluebell, Geri’s daughter. As part of my VIP duties I was asked if I could present medals and visit as much of the Olympic Park as possible, which I did.

The Athletic Stadium is superb and presenting medals to the champions was great, The Aquatic Centre, which I had already seen a few weeks ago when I competed at the ASA Swimming Championships/ London 2012 Trials, is amazing.

Whilst at the Athletic Stadium I was introduced to a partially sighted young girl called Ketty, from Uganda, she said in her country babies with disabilities (like me & her) are taken to the forest and left there to die. Ketty was brought to England as part of The British Councils International Inspiration Programme.

She was overwhelmed to meet me, she cried with joy and said I was the first disabled person she had met that inspired her to live. She said it was amazing to meet a National Swimmer/Sports Person that started from nothing like herself, who comes to places like the Sainsburys games to speak to people like her. I am so glad I could help and inspire her, and as one athlete to another I wish her every success in the future.


There were performances by Spellbound and Cover Drive at the closing ceremony which was held in the Basketball Arena, this area was equally awesome.


All the venues I visited seemed to be ready for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Lets just hope the sun will come out to play at the games as well lol 

Swimming is my life, in or out of the water, I just love it, and if I can inspire and motivate others on the way it makes it even more enjoyable. And I certainly love being a VIP (now, now, don’t laugh), my next public appearance is on the 4th June, I have been asked if I could officially open The Hockley & Hawkwell Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

Kings College School London

I was asked if I could give a talk to the children at Kings College School in London to help inspire them on the run up to the Olympics and Paralympics games, of course I said yes, but unfortunately the traffic was horrendous and I arrived a little late. I made my apologies and spoke to a very small group of children that seemed to enjoy what I had to say, 

after my little speech I was asked if I would like to try my hand at Water Polo, it was my first time and

 I loved it. 

I look forward to returning to Kings College School in 2012.

I would also like to thank The Friends of Kings College School for their generous donation towards my swimming career I hope I wont let them down.

Westborough School Jo-Jo the PE Assistant

I like to spend my half term holidays helping others.   This half term I was a PE assistant for Mr Funa at The Westborough School in my hometown of Westcliff-on-Sea.

The photo above is of myself and Sir Mike Jackson MBE from The Presidents Sporting Club with one of Westborough’s PE teachers Mr Funa and some year 2 children.

Sir Mike Jackson MBE had just presented me with a donation towards my Paralympic dream.

If you think you could help

towards my paralympic 2012 or 2016 dream

you can by leaving a donation here

Or  Email –

Or  Telephone – 07719 624905


Return Visit – Sheringham Junior School

I first visited Sheringham Junior School, Manor Park, London  as an inspirational speaker in 2008, where I met some very excited, interesting and enthusiastic children.

I was invited back for a visit to speak and to catch up with the children. It was lovely speaking with all of the children and finding out what progress they had all made. It meant a lot to me to know that the children remembered me from my first visit and a few of them had listened to some advice I had given about getting up early for School and to try to eat the correct types of foods, some of them said that they had joined all sorts of sports clubs since my last visit, I had a wonderful day, and I look forward to seeing them all again in the future.


The Westborough School, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

I was invited to help out at The Westborough School in my hometown of Westcliff-on-Sea, for their annual sports week. All the children showed lots of sporting potential I hope I inspired them to take their sports further. I look forward to returning and seeing their progress in the near future.  I enjoyed meeting lots of keen and interested children.

Garons 2009

Jo-Jo was invited to Garons Sports & Tennis Centre in Southend-on-Sea Essex, to give a motivational talk to some gifted & talented children, run by Southend Sports Partnership.

SX Urban Games

As I am part of The Essex Legacy Team 2012 I was asked if I would support the very first SX Urban Games in King George Playing Field’s in Brentwood, Essex. It was brilliant full of exciting and somewhat dangerous stunts. I had a great time and looking forward to seeing some more in the near future.

A taste of the Games at Danbury

With the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games edging ever closer, 100 looked after children were given a taste of the Olympic Games at Essex County Council’s Danbury Outdoor Education Centre this week. 

The children, a mix of able-bodied, physically disabled and learning disabled youngsters, were all at the Centre as part of the a five-day summer camp for children looked after by Essex County Council.

The group were delighted by the visit of Jo-Jo Cranfield, a Team GB disabled swimmer, who told them first hand about her hopes for competing in the Paralympic Games in 2012 and how sport has helped her to overcome adversity in her own life. She appealed to the young people in the group to take inspiration from her story and to achieve their own ambitions and dreams.

The children were then given the opportunity to take part in a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports including sitting volleyball, table tennis, rhythmic gymnastics, zone hockey and track and field events.

County Councillor Colin Riley, Chairman of the Corporate Parenting Panel said: “This has been a fantastic week for the youngsters involved, giving them the opportunity to enjoy sports and activities they wouldn’t have otherwise have had the opportunity to try.”

County Councillor Stephen Castle, Cabinet Member for Education and the 2012 Games added: “Whether they aspire to be a future Olympic or Paralympic Champion or not, we hope this event has shown the young people involved the positive impact that sport and active lifestyles can have upon their lives.”

This report can be found on the >>> Essex Legacy <<< website

Hockley/Rochford District & Southend Presenter + Prom

July 1st   Gosh where do I start.  I was asked to present medals at two different swimming galas.  The first being in the morning for Rochford District Inter-Schools Annual Swimming Gala. I had a great time and saw some fantastic young swimmers I was happy to help out.

 Here is a picture of me with Jordan Kemp a young Rochford & Disrict Swimmer.


In the afternoon I had only 30 minutes to grab a bit of  lunch before going to my next booking to present some more medals & trophies  for Southend Sports Partnerships Inter-Schools Gala, again I was glad to help out.   

Phew !  I have had a grand day so far, but I was running out of time I needed to have my nails done do my hair and get ready for Belfairs School Prom at La Quinta in Benfleet, Essex.     

I think I scrubbed up O.K!

Southend Sports Partnership May 2009

Jo-Jo was invited to Southend High School for Girls, in Southend-on-Sea Essex, to give an inspirational talk to some gifted & talented children, run by Southend Sports Partnership.

UpStarts Launch 2009

As an Essex Ambassador Jo-Jo was invited to be a keynote speaker at the launch of UpStarts


Upstarts Project (Building a Healthy Lifestyle Legacy from the 2012 Games) Upstarts is a fully funded ‘Olympic Style’ food and fitness programme, in the Mid Essex area. The project is funded by NHS Mid Essex and managed by Healthy Solutions Community Interest Company (HLS CIC). The project gives young people the experience of an elite athlete in terms of support to become active, reaching their potential, developing confidence and improving health and well being through cooking and healthy eating. The project was officially launched on Monday 27 April at an Olympic style road show at St Peter’s School Burnham on Crouch. The road show featured an elite athlete (Jo-Jo), 2012 Essex Ambassador and Olympian Steve Cram MBE, University of Essex , Ashlyn’s Organics and Colchester United sports coaches. Children took part in activities and quizzes, tried and tasted foods and learnt what takes to become an Olympian/Paralympian. 

Sheringham Junior School 2008

I was invited to give talks to the children at Sheringham Junior School, Manor Park, London. I had a wonderful day, meeting lots of interesting and enthusiastic children.

Scottish Widows 2009 Calendar

Scottish Widows life insurance, pensions & Investments Company Calendar 2009
Jo-Jo was the month of June
Elizabeth Hoff the photographer took the photos in and around the Serpentine, Hyde Park London 
 The weather was bitterly cold and the water was icy