The Paralympian taking on able-bodied athletes

England is no longer a "Land of Hope and Glory", on this particular stage.

An internet poll conducted before the team headed for India voted out the country's old victory anthem and plumped for "Jerusalem". So Chariots of Fire it will be, then, when the 359-strong squad wearing the Cross of St George set about the business of winning gold, silver and bronze on Monday, the day after the opening ceremony for the XIX Commonwealth Games – a festival that might not have been, but for a desperate last-minute clean-up operation at the athletes' village.

It just so happened that a young lady on a chariot of sorts – a wheelchair with the Union Jack emblazoned on each side – was paraded at the Team England pre-Games press conference yesterday, at which the badminton player Nathan Robertson was named as flag-bearer for the opening ceremony. Following all the high-profile withdrawals – among them Phillips Idowu, who is pictured on the front page of the team handbook – Danielle Brown could be seen as a symbol of what Craig Hunter, the chef de mission, described as a "dynamic" new-look team, featuring a blend of seasoned major Games campaigners with "younger, more raw talent who will benefit enormously from the experience".

The loss of Idowu, Christine Ohuruogu, Mo Farah and others might have reduced English expectations in Delhi to some way below the hope and glory of challenging Australia for top spot in the medal table. In fact Hunter spoke yesterday of the threat from India and Canada, suggesting that the Team England aim would be just holding on to the second overall place they occupied in the last three Games, but the absence of the big names will give unsung heroes such as Brown the chance to move into the limelight.

On Monday, when the 22-year-old law graduate struggles from her wheelchair, with the aid of crutches, and settles on to her stool at the archery range, she will become the first Paralympian to represent England at a Commonwealth Games. Brown suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy, an excruciating neurological condition. Unlike Oscar Pistorius, the celebrated South African "Blade Runner" and a fellow gold medallist at the Paralympics in Beijing two years ago, the North Yorkshire lass – a native of Lonsdale, near Skipton – has made the crossover into the mainstream major championship sporting arena.

"I've never thought of sport as having boundaries," Brown said, "but I suppose it's great to be seen as pushing them. Sarah Storey is out here as well and she's doing really well." A Paralympic gold medallist as both a swimmer and a cyclist, Storey will follow Brown into the record books when she competes in the track cycling later in the week.

"It's exciting just to be here," Brown added. "My dad's been sending me emails, saying 'They've found a snake in someone's bed – are you OK?' And I'm, 'Yeah, Dad, I'm fine, don't believe everything you hear. It's really nice out here.' I've got no complaints about the facilities. They're a lot better than some I've stayed in."

That is due in no small measure to the pressure that was applied on the Delhi Organising Committee by Hunter and other chefs de mission after being shocked by the state of the athletes' village at the start of last week. The official timing and results system has yet to be installed at all 11 Games venues but Hunter said: "We were given assurances this morning that providers were ready to push the button and that everything will be finalised over the next 24-48 hours. It's always the way at these major Games."

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower