Ted is 7 years old and from Devizes in Wiltshire where he lives with his family. He has cerebral palsy and absolutely loves sport. ...
My name’s Laura, I’m 21 years old and I’m from Belfast and representing Musgrave Park Hospital.
“So I was in a car accident last October and I now have an incomplete spinal cord injury at my L1 vertebrae. Initially I couldn’t move anything and spent five months in hospital having rehab and physio five days a week. I left hospital in the middle of March and I’ve been getting stuck into trying to get involved in as many sports as possible. So yeah we’re definitely on the upside of things now.”
“Fitness and exercise was always incredibly important. I had a very active lifestyle beforehand so it was something that I craved to do. I was an Irish dancer beforehand and I gymed loads and swam as well and yoga as well so just everything and anything.”
“When I was in hospital bed not able to move anything it was very different for me as I’m so used to constantly moving. So when I moved to Musgrave and I was off bed rest, I was able to start moving my body again it was so motivating seeing the improvements. We had sport on every Thursday in the hospital which was amazing and we got to try boccia and everything and it was an amazing sport that everyone could take part in which was brilliant. But I just love everything sport and I’m willing to give a go.”
On coming to Stoke Mandeville – The facilities at SM are amazing and a bit funky with the dorms but it’s an experience for definite! Everyone is so lovely, so willing to help and so supportive. In the swimming everyone was cheering everyone along, you just don’t that and the support is incredible. I’d recommend anyone to go and I’d love to come back next year!
“I’ve tried everything at this point. We had swimming on Tuesday at start the week and I really enjoyed it. The hand cycling as well outside was brilliant, love it and the basketball too! I love a good team sport and it’s class everyone getting involved and stuck in.”
“I’ve definitely made loads a contacts and going home I’ve not really thought of that but I really enjoyed everything that I’ve done and I think maybe I’ll keep up my swimming a wee bit more and I was talking to like the triathlon lady who has got all the information with the GB team. So I don’t know really, I want to find my niche and I’m willing to keep being a beginner until I find that thing that I’m passionate about and good at.”
On sports chairs – You’re not really worried about tipping out of your chair or anything because you’re so supported and so much more agile. Because the wheels are cambered you can go a lot faster and the feeling racing for that ball you’ve got the opposite team coming up right beside and you being like ‘I’m getting that ball’, it’s a class feeling!”
On handcycling – You’re able to pick up speed and I think it’s just one of those things that it’s like whenever you’re doing the sport it’s like you’re just in such a flow. You don’t think of anything else and that’s one of the best things about being sporty and active.”
"When you're in hospital bed you're like my whole life has changed, nothing's gonna be the same. But then you actually see sport opening up so many doors for you and you are doing things that you never thought that you'd be able to do, it's such an amazing sense of achievement. You are always surprising yourself and thinking I didn’t think I could do that before and that's an amazing feeling. The Spinal Games has been a class event and I’d definitely would recommend anyone to go to it and it's very well organized and I’ve just really enjoyed it."