Mª Teresa Perales Fernández

“Aragonese of the Year” prize and winner of 22 paralympic medals

About me

NAME: Mª Teresa Perales Fernández


CITY: Zaragoza


BACKGROUND: High Studies

ACTION/SECTOR: Service sector and third sector

POSITION: Motivational Speaker and Sport and Personal Coach

My Background and Career

At the moment, I am a motivational lecturer, and personal and sport coach. I have served on different positions of management and public responsibility: Court Representative for Aragon, General Director of the Attention to Dependence of the Department of Social Services and Family, Adviser in the Area of Encouragement and Sport. I’ve worked as a Professor in the University of Zaragoza and in the summer courses of Teruel and in the University of Colindres (Cantabria). My studies are: Diploma in Physiotherapy from the University of Zaragoza and Training in Professional Coaching from ASESCO.
My greatest goal is as a top level athlete, where I’ve obtained 35 Paraolympic medals since 1998 (the last six in Glasgow 2015). I am a Member of the Athlete Council of the International Paralympic Committee since 2008 and Member of the Paralympic Games Commission of the International Paralympic Committee since May 2012. I’m also a Member of the Group of Experts in the elaboration of the Integral Plan of the Physical Activity and Sport in Spain and Ambassador of the Inclusive Sport in Spain. I’m Gold Medal in the French Youth and Sport. I’ve been nominated to the Laureus of Sport (2009) and to the Whang Youn Dai Prize (2012). I am also Medal of Defender and Heroine of Zaragoza from the Foundation of Seiges of Zaragoza (2008) and Prize for the Best Paralympic Athlete.

My Experience

My father died when I was 15, and that changed my family situation. My mother had to fight so hard to give us a good start in life, but, moreover, the affection of a father is something irreplaceable.  The fact of sitting in a wheelchair at the age of 19, motivated me to acquire more personal tools when moving every day. Overcoming all these, everything is easier, although with great effort, but reaching all the goals little by little.  
Another problem has to do with the financial aspect, because the training and competition to be at the highest level means a large expenditure, as well as having to give up other jobs in order to invest time in the training and trips abroad. The support I’ve received from my family has been essential in my life. My family took charge of offering me a good formative base as a person and as a professional. I consider that my personality has helped me a lot and also my personal and professional relationships.
My best source of inspiration has been my mother, because of her capacity of fighting. Also people like Jorge Valdano, has been as a model to follow.


My Skills

My most important abilities are:
     I am able to learn and apply new knowledge in my work.
     I easily adapt myself to any change
     I have no difficulty in sharing and passing on information.
     I also listen and pay attention to other people’s problems.
     I like to collaborate with other people
     My personal development through work is important.
     I like to negotiate and that all people end up satisfied.
     I like to work as a team.
     I also draw up plans for any activity and I organise myself easily
     I solve problems and find solutions
     I like to set goals in order to reach them
     I am able to make a quick decision
     I don’t hesitate in asking for advice
     I am also a good communicator.

My most outstanding qualities are being ambitious, active, a bit conservative, talkative and critical. I feel very cooperative, persistent, and democratic. I am always optimistic, innovative, and trustful. I try to be a little bit practical, flexible, relaxed and quick. I’m an open-minded person, but also sensible, very patient and methodical, with a looking-forward approach and organised.


Hints & Tips

Lucky saying or phrase - “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. For me, this is the essence of work and the effort to achieve our goals.

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