Ellie – My Story
My name is Ellie and I am 25-years-old. I have Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, which affects all four of my limbs and makes my movements appear shaky and jerky. I am a Sheffield Hallam University graduate and I have a degree in Sports Development with Coaching. I am an RR2 RaceRunner and I recently represented Great Britian in the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai where I won a Silver medal.
Where it all began
My sporting journey began back in 2012 when I watched the London Paralympics from my TV – before then, I did not associate people like myself with sport at all. In early 2013, I saw that the Paralympics GB Sport Fest was coming to Sheffield – you could try out all the different Paralympic Sports and meet some of the athletes from London 2012! I went along and that one day changed my life and shaped my future. I fell in love with Athletics, specifically the Club Throw. This actually surprised me – I had gone primarily to try Horse Riding and to meet the athletes, so to come away with a passion for Athletics was a bit of a curve ball!
I then joined City of Sheffield AC and actively started training and competing in the Club Throw, which I loved. However, I really wanted to be on the track. I tried Wheelchair Racing, but I didn’t have enough hand control and coordination to propel the wheelchair. I then tried ambulant running, which always ended up in a heap on the floor at around the 20 meter mark! I was then saw this ‘thing’ hurtling down the track at a CP Sport competition whilst I was competing for the Club Throw – the ‘thing’ was what I now know very fondly as a RaceRunner, and it was my now best friend Matt who was hurtling down the track on it!
I knew I wanted to do RaceRunning from the moment I saw it. I signed up to the next CP Sport RaceRunning Taster Day and had a go on a RaceRunner in March 2015. That was it, I was hooked! I purchased my own RaceRunner and the rest as they say is history!
The impact on my life
Sport has had a major positive impact on my life physically, socially & academically. Physically I have improved a lot since becoming involved in sport – I now find that things in my everyday life are a little easier, e.g. negotiating steps, and my overall coordination has improved. Socially I have made the best friends through sport who I now couldn’t imagine life without – we always have a laugh and lots of fun, probably too much! Academically sport has opened doors to brand new opportunities – I am just about to complete a degree in Sport Development with Coaching, which would have never crossed my mind to investigate when I left school nearly 5-years-ago.
I completed a degree in Sport Development with Coaching in 2017, which would have never crossed my mind to investigate when I left school in 2013.
I have been lucky enough to compete in 2 World Games – 2015 and 2018. 2015 was my first international and it was an icredible experience with memories that I will remember forever. At both Games I won Double Gold in the 100m and 200m. In 2018, I also won Silver in the 400m. In 2019, I was incredibly lucky and good enough to be selected to represent Great Britain in the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. I was so scared but it was such an honour to represent GB and race in the GB vest. I won a silver medal and it was such a fantastic feeling to stand on the podium for Great Britain! I would have never have imagined that moment when I first tried RaceRunning on a cold, windy morning a few years previously! I really enjoy racing because I can compete on equal playing field and it is something I can do independently. I always get nervous on the start line, but as soon as the gun goes I enjoy every moment!
Goals and ambitions
My main goal is to keep enjoying my RaceRunning! One day, I would love to see RaceRunning feature at the Paralympic games – and if I am not too old, to compete at Paralympics!
Ellie is an Ambassador for Cerebral Palsy Sport, and previously a Young Sporting Ambassador.
“What an honour it is to be chosen to be a Sporting Ambassador for Cerebral Palsy Sport, especially to be alongside some fantastic CP Athletes such as Stephen Miller MBE. My sporting journey started with the help and support of CP Sport, it is thanks to them that I was able to try RaceRunning at one of their taster days – I knew I’d found something special. CP Sport enables people with Cerebral Palsy to reach their sporting potential – I certainly found mine and I am very proud to be an Ambassador for Cerebral Palsy Sport and help other people like me discover their potential.”