New film about a surfer with one arm

After loosing her arm in a shark attack at age 13, Bethany Hamilton, who had been competing since she was eight, thought she would never surf again. But after months of rehabilitation, Bethany got back into the water, and now has a whole host of awards and accolades to her name.

Soul Surfer - Bethany Hamilton - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Impressive you say? Well others clearly think so as Hollywood has now made a movie about her life. Soul Surfer, out now, tells the true story of her struggles after the attack, and fight to get back to the top.

Visit Bethany Hamilton‘s website for a whole host of videos.

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June 24, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Entertainment. Leave a comment.

7/7 bomb survivor becomes Paralympic hopeful

Martine Wiltshire, a victim of the 7/7 London bombings who lost both her legs as a result of the attack, is planning to compete in the 2012 Paralympic games. Since the bombings in 2005, Martine has learned to fly, and is now a member of the Great British women’s sitting volleyball team who hope to enter the 2012 games.

7/7 bombings - Martine Wiltshire - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

At the recent inquest into the 7/7 bombings, Martine, who gave evidence, was praised by coroner Lady Justice Hallett for her courage calling her ‘truly inspirational and a triumph of human spirit over dreadful adversity‘. I couldn’t agree more. Good luck in the Paralympics Martine!

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November 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Inspiration. 1 comment.

Wheelchair user wins able-bodied event at the Commonwealth Games

At this years Commonwealth Games in Delhi, wheelchair-user Danielle Brown won gold in the able-bodied team compound archery event along with team mates Nicky Hunt and Nichola Simpson.

Danielle Brown - Commonwealth Games - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Danielle, age 22, has reflex sympathetic dystrophy which gives her constant pain and means she cannot stand for long periods of time. Despite this, Danielle conjured up the strength to not only stand, but also compete, leaning for support on a stool specially made for her at Loughborough University. Having battled an undiagnosed illness for years as a teenager, it just goes to show that determination and talent are what matters.

Keep your eyes peeled when watching the Commonwealth Games as there are a number of Para-Sports such as table tennis and swimming.

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October 11, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Sport. Leave a comment.

Inside Incredible Athletes – how they’ve achieved despite disabilities

Have you ever wondered what enables people with severe disabilities to perform to such astonishing athletic levels ready for the 2012 paralympics? Then watch Channel 4’s Inside Incredible Athletes with fascinating insights into not only a range of paralympic sports, but also how these sporting giants are able to achieve.

Inside Incredible Athletes - wheelchair rugby - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Examining five different paralympic sports; swimming, wheelchair rugby, blind football, horseriding and blade running, it questions how these athletes manage to perform despite impairments. How is it possible for someone to play football blind? How, if the muscles around their lungs don’t work to inflate them properly, can someone exert themselves in a wheelchair? When a swimmer’s cerebral palsy means one side of her body is weaker than the other, why is her best stroke a symmetrical one?

Looking at the biology behind how these athletes’ bodies work, the programme concludes that disabilities can sometimes be beneficial in the pursuit of sporting excellence as they are seen to “break through the predicted limits.” Let me explain.. as an example, with the wheelchair rugby, tests show that using a wheelchair  is faster than running on foot and requires less energy and is thus more efficient – when used by someone who is highly trained of course. Or running on a blade can be faster as it is able to pick up more momentum than a foot which can slow a person down.

Inside Incredible Athletes - Blade running - image - www.inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Horserider Lee Pearson, who was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita meaning he has reduced joint mobility, often competes against able-bodied riders and wins. His astounding ability comes from years of training and strengthening the part of his body that he can control, his hips.

Examples like these show how we are able to adapt and sometimes improve on what we have. It’s all a case of technique, development and most importantly adaptation; “you look at reality you can’t change things it’s just how you deal with them… You have two options, you can do f**k all, or you can do everything you want… why would you want to miss such opportunities” (Mandip Sehmi).

So whether you are an avid paralympic sports fan, or curious of how it all works, you’ll be amazed by the achievements of these athletes. They make seemingly impossible tasks look easy, I mean who can say they have competed at Olympic level! As one wheelchair rugby player so poignantly states, “it shouldn’t have taken me the loss of two 3rds of my body to make the most of the last 3rd, but it did” (Steve Brown).

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September 2, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Sport. 4 comments.

Great Britain triumphs at the Paralympic Swimming World Championships

After 6 days and with 53 countries competing in the IPC Swimming World Championships hosted in Eindhoven, Holland, us Brits can today be proud having won 16 medals, 12 being gold’s.

15-year-old Eleanor Simmonds, a double Paralympic Champion, triumphed with a total of 4 gold’s; “I was so nervous before the race because I really wanted to go and win and get the record. I am really happy to be on top of the podium again. I went into it thinking that it was going to need a world record to win that race and to do that is great.”

Eleanor Simmonds - Paralympic swimmer - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Other teenagers to do their parents proud were 19-year-old Thomas Young and Harriet Lee who won the 400m freestyle 100m breaststroke.

Also coming out smiling was Sascha Kindred who continued his unbeaten run in the 200m individual medley, while Daniel Pepper scooped gold in the 100m breaststroke on the final day.

So the world better watch out for us Brits in the 2012 Paralympics!

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August 24, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Sport. 2 comments.

11-year-old has an elected amputation to fulfil Paralympic dreams

At age 11 I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. But Danielle Bradshaw is so set on a 2012 Paralympic win that she has had an elected amputation of her withered limb.

Danielle Bradshaw - elected amputation - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Danielle has one healthy leg but a congenital dislocation of both hips and her right knee means she was unable to use the other. With her Paralympic dreams in sight, Danielle elected to have an amputation as this would allow her to wear a sports blade or use a sports wheelchair. She asserted ‘what’s the point of dragging around something that doesn’t work?’

Danielle Bradshaw - elected before amputation - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Before the operation she enthused; ‘I’m not scared, I’m excited. I can’t wait for it to be done so I can start running and training.’ Her mum Debbie said ‘she is an inspiration,’ and I couldn’t agree more.

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August 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Inspiration. Leave a comment.

Watch Winter Paralympic highlights

Although us Brits didn’t win any medals at the Winter Paralympics, I still recommend watching the highlights show on BBC iplayer, as well as catching up with your favourite sporting events on Paralympic Sport TV.

In case you are wondering, the Russian Federation came out top overall with 38 medals in total. Germany came second scoring 24 medals, and Canada, the hosting country, came third with 19 medals. For full details of the winning teams take a look at the official Vancouver 2010 website.

Winter Paralympics 2010 - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

And to supplement your desire for Winter Paralympic imagery, take a look at these amazing images of the games.

March 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Sport. Leave a comment.