Active involvement in sport and focussing on a future goal can have a tremendous impact on the well-being, sense of achievement, and confidence of our brave children, some of which have chosen to become para athletes.  

Many children who receive treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital have reduced self-esteem and are conscious about their disability around their peers at school.  The majority participate in sport at school but many find it difficult to access any specialist sports facilities and training associated with their disabilities.

Many talented children who are keen on sports at a high level do not have sufficient funding to access the specialist sports training needed to help them reach their goals.

Every year £5000 is needed per child, which will cover the travel and associated costs of attending training camps, and events.  In return patients would provide reports and letters to share their successes so you can see the difference gifts make.

Regular participation in a specialised sport has numerous benefits, which include:

  • Improved muscle strength, coordination and flexibility.
  • Greater exercise endurance, cardiovascular efficiency and possibly increase life expectancy.
  • Experience better balance, motor skills and body awareness.
  • An enhanced feeling of psychological and psychosocial well-being.
  • A feeling of accomplishment and possibly the taste of winning and personal satisfaction.

All of the above are often not met because of financial constraints and shortfalls.  Donations would enable a child to chase their dreams and aspirations of becoming a Para-athlete and also impact on their well-being and sense of achievement, worth and confidence.

As part of the longer term vision it has been proposed that a joint clinic is established with the sports medicine department at Birmingham University to encourage those children to maximise their abilities and support them with pain management and assist with adapting to areas of the sport.  It would provide links to specialists including sports medicine and physiotherapists.

The athletes currently identified would act as mentors to inspire and encourage younger patients with similar ambitions and aspirations.

One of our patients who is currently competing and training at a high level in their field but are restricted due to a lack of funds available to them is Molly . . .

One of our amazing Para atheletes

Molly is 17 years old and has been skiing with the British Parasnowsport for two years as an invitational athlete.  She has now progressed to the development team, which involves an even greater commitment to training and competing. As Molly explains about her condition,

I have a right sided hemiplegia and am officially classified as LW 9.1, the more severe classification of someone skiing with both a leg and arm impairmen.

Molly aims to compete at the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Bejing, participating in all the alpine skiing disciplines. She currently competes in Slalom and Giant Slalom. The 2016/17 season ended in April at the British Championships in Tignes, France. Molly won a Silver Medal which was presented to me by HRH Prince Edward, a very proud and memorable moment.

This summer she is attending training camps in Norway, Holland and Germany, as well as strength and conditioning camps in Stirling.  All through the year she trains in Manchester and Milton Keynes, as well as in her local gym with a personal trainer.   In the autumn she trains on the glaciers of Austri, and the next race season starts in November in the largest indoor ski facility in Europe, at Landgraaf, Holland.

Molly desperately needs funding to help her to continue to develop her talent and compete in these life changing events.

We need your help to give these young talented athletes the opportunity to achieve their potential, through their sporting passion.  The transformational impact of participation in specialised sports such as these on a child’s well-being, sense of achievement, and confidence of our brave children cannot be underestimated.