Deafblind skier on path to the Paralympics
- 0.60% funded
- £ 60.00 pledged
- 0 Days Left
Originally a member of the GB Disability Swimming Team, with sponsorship for the 2012 Paralympics, my sporting dream was shattered when a stomach surgery went wrong and 2 years in and out of hospital followed. Bedridden, and left with lifelong affects to my health, I have since never been able to return to swimming competitively.
Then, 2 years ago, I was one of 9 lucky blind students to go on our school’s first ever ski trip. For a week, I was taught how to put my feet on skis and was guided by my instructor, Adrien Sargent, at Oxygene Ski School, La Plagne. Tragically, Adrien died shortly after following an avalanche accident, but his passing only made me more determined to keep up the new wintersport he had ultimately helped me fall in love with.
Whilst skiing recreationally at an indoor ski slope last year, I was talent-spotted by DSUK and from there was put in touch with the Development Coach of Parasnowsports GB – the British team for all skiers and snowboarders of different disabilities, training towards high-level competition such as the Paralympic Winter Games. Within the space of 2 years, I have gone from merely learning how to ski to training abroad with the GB team and will soon be entering my first set of international races.
As a deafblind skier, I rely on a guide skiing in front of me, whilst I speed behind them, and communicate through the use of bluetooth headsets to give me directions and information on the slope conditions and obstacles. I only see a very small amount of light and colour and can only see centrally in front of me, so use a long white cane to help navigate my way round. Without my hearing-aids, I am completely deaf. When it comes to skiing, it can often be quite challenging, not only not being able to see, but also not being able to hear, as wearing hearing-aids can also interfere with the use of our headsets!
Not naturally coming from a skiing background, with no family that have ever skied before either, financing such an expensive sport has proven tricky. In my time outside of sport I study Medicine at Cardiff University, so a part-time job cannot even fund this exciting yet mammoth aspiration. But I am nevertheless determined to achieve in becoming both a great doctor and Paralympic skier too! Your donations will thus help fund my dream of participating in the Paralympic Winter Games, whether that be either 2018 or 2022 – it will help fund essential equipment such as speedy skis and racing boots, to financing the travel and coaching fees of training camps abroad, and entering races that will ultimately get myself and my guide closer to that dream of representing Great Britain for many more exciting years in this fantastic wintersport.
Thank you ever so much for taking the time to read my story and for visiting my page!