Megan's joy at racing chance
A Leyland schoolgirl has secured an exclusive place in a first-ever wheelchair national race.
Megan Bradley, 13, is one of only five people selected to take part in the inaugural Unlimited Great North Wheelchair Event.
It will take place in Newcastle the day before the world-famous Great North Run.
Megan, the youngest participant, will line up with four others of varying ages up to 66.
The excited teenager, who suffers from bilateral club feet, body seizures and spasms, can’t wait for the event.
She said: “I have tried wheelchair racing a couple of times in the space of a week, whilst also trying to find the right chair and get used to it.
“It felt really good to be in a race chair, I enjoy going as fast as I can. I am hoping to just enjoy myself, as well as meet amazing people.
“Another benefit is it will help my fitness as well.”
Megan, who lives on Quins Croft, Leyland, remembers being inspired by the Paralympics in London five years ago, and she already has plans to pursue more racing opportunities.
“I think after going to watch the Paralympics in 2012 it really inspired me and made me believe I can do anything I want,” she said.
“I was quite nervous to begin with, but after getting used to the chair I became very excited for future training.
“At the end of the day their disability never stopped them, so why should it stop me?”
Megan is a pupil at [email protected] School, Leyland. She has two brothers Scott, 19, and Luke, 18
She believes others could be inspired in the same way she was.
“I applied because I thought it was an unmissable opportunity,” she explained.
“I think there needs to be more advertisement for disability sports because most people, including myself, with disabilities, want to do a sport, they just don’t know where to go.
“Since I was little I always wanted to join in and do everything everyone else is but due to my disability I couldn’t, and because we didn’t know there were local places to us that do disability sports I had to sit on the side-lines.”
The Unlimited Company invited people to apply for the chance to be fitted with a racing wheelchair and to have the opportunity to train with Paralympic coach Rick Hoskins before taking part in the one mile event on Saturday, September 9.
Megan also enjoys wheelchair tennis – she has been selected for the school games in the sport – and open water swimming.
She said: “It feels very reassuring to have such an amazing coach who, even when it gets hard, motivates you to carry on.
“That makes me feel a lot less nervous.”