BALANCE FOR BETTER

March 12, 2019

 

I am so excited to have become a new ambassador for Leonard Cheshire. I first had contact with the charity at their Christmas Carol concert a few months ago.

I loved every minute of the occasion and really enjoyed meeting the people involved with the charity.

I was particularly struck with the hashtag ‘Actually, I can’ because I always try to be as independent as possible.

Nothing makes me happier

I am a twin and I was born seven weeks prematurely. When I was a few days old I was diagnosed with a meningitis type illness which left me with cerebral palsy.

I am also deaf and have some learning difficulties. I was late reaching all my milestones but I always wanted to do whatever my twin, Dan, was doing.

When I eventually was able to walk I found running much easier and have loved it ever since! Nothing makes me happier!

 

I always found school hard but loved sports day. At my first sports day in infants’ school I won my race and everyone was really shocked — they never expected it because I struggled with most other things — I loved the feeling of running and even more of winning!

Finding my feet

Loving sport really helped my co-ordination when I was little and had a huge impact on my life from a young age.

I have always been in an athletics club and joined City of Portsmouth Athletics Club when I was 13. I loved training and competing with my friends there, and even though I was usually at the back of the field, I was really happy.

When I was 15 I went to Talent Day with British Athletics. I didn’t really want to go but I am so glad that I did.

 

I had never really met other people with cerebral palsy and it was so good being in a competitive environment with people with similar conditions to mine.

I had no idea how competitive I was as a disabled athlete and in my first competition after being classified I was ranked first in my class (T38) in the UK. 

It was unbelievable! Six months later I was lining up on the podium at London 2012 and even more amazingly I won a bronze medal as part of the T35-8 relay team.

What I need to keep being me

Sport has led my life in a direction I never imagined.

Keeping my body healthy is really important to me and is also really important to my mental well-being.

Being in the fresh air and being active is what I need to keep me being me!

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