Rotary club set wheels in motion to help fulfill Paralympic dream

Falmouth Packet: James Kingston and David Corbridge shake the buckets in Sainsburys James Kingston and David Corbridge shake the buckets in Sainsburys

Helston-Lizard Rotary Club has set the wheels in motion towards a Porthleven teenager’s dream to become a Paralympic athlete.

Rotary members carried out a collection at Sainsbury’s in Helston to help buy a racing wheelchair for 14-year-old Lily Veal, in time for her to compete in the London Mini Marathon.

For the last two years Lily, who suffers from cerebral palsy, has taken part in various sports and has recently completed in the 100m and 4×400m relay at the Disability Sports Event (DSE) Nationals at Warwick.

To help her achieve her Paralympic ambition she needs a chair so she can constantly improve and excel in the sport she enjoys.

Lily has been loaned a racing chair from England Athletics that meets her needs for now, but in order to give her the best chance of success she needs a custom made chair that fits her perfectly, together with associated equipment.

The chair will cost around £2,300, while rollers for indoor training during poor weather will be a further £1,000. She will also need spare tyres.

Helston-Rotary Club spokesman Tony Smart said: “Having her own chair will open up a whole new competing level for Lily, enabling her to be a serious contender, constantly improve and get personal bests.

“Lily has set her sights on becoming a Paralympic Athlete and achieving her lifelong dream.”

Being able to have these opportunities has given Lily a new direction and focus in life.

She said: “I have actually found something where we are all equal and I'm not just the disabled girl in a crowd of able-bodied peers. It feels great.”

Over the course of a weekend Helston-Lizard Rotary members collected just over £500 towards Lily’s fundraising campaign.

She is raising money personally through school and relatives, but hopes that other local organisations like the Rotary will also be able to contribute.

Mr Smart thanked Sainsbury’s Helston for allowing the collection to be held, as well as everyone who gave money.

Members were supporting the national Rotary Wheal Appeal, which sees the Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland working with WheelPower to raise money to provide sports wheelchairs, training and facilities that will enable disabled people to lead fit and active lives.

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