Yasmin – My Story
Hi, my name is Yasmin Somers. I’m 18 years old and I have Cerebral Palsy (spastic quadriplegia) I won’t bore you with all the intricacies of my condition and the surgical procedures I’ve had over the years but I’ve spent my life in a wheelchair.
In 2012 at the age of 13, I watched the Paralympics in London and something changed in me. My brother Sebastian said if I took up one of the sports he would take me for Pizza every month! What more motivation could a young
girl in a wheel chair who’s life revolved around food (and shopping) need.
Strangely, my motivation wasn’t the promise of Dough Balls and a Margarita Pizza once a month with my gorgeous brother but instead, some hidden emotion which I had not felt before.
Those Para athletes were like super heroes especially Dave Weir and Hannah Cockcroft competing in their wheelchair track racers. I began training and learning to push a race-chair and everything changed. Suddenly the most important things in my life were no longer baking the next cake or wondering aimlessly around Primark. Now I had goals, dreams and I needed to think carefully about my diet and getting stronger. I started going to the gym, and trying to better myself with the help of physios, gym instructors and my athletic coach. Becoming stronger, more mobile and ever more Independent was something I wanted for myself, not something that my parents were pushing me into. Those amazing physio therapists and Personal trainers will never know how much they helped me.
I’m a T33 classification in wheelchair track racing and I’ve now been training and competing for the past 5 years. I’ve attended two school games, three London mini marathons and one CP Worlds Games in 2015 along with a number of other competitions and road races and just recently I’ve competed in the IWAS World Games 2017 where I got a bronze medal. The medals are fantastic but it’s all about the people I’ve met along the way. My friends at the Weir Archer Academy will always be close to my heart as I was part of their team until the early part of this year. I now train with Harlow Wheelchair Racing Club and the great Richard Chiassaro is my new coach and I’m loving my change of surroundings.
I’ve been selected to represent England again next year at the CP World Games 2018 in Barcelona and I can’t wait, there is something very special about putting on your England kit and representing a nation!
As time moves on and I have got older, my focus has changed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very driven and love my track racing (Not to mention being very competitive)but It’s not all about winning races. I want to give a good account of myself and enjoy all aspects of my life. I’m now driving!!! Something my Dad thought might never be possible, this gives me the feeling of great independence. I’m also striving towards a University place for next year to study Sports & Exercise Science . I have some amazing friends and life is good. I’m convinced that sport and the inspiration I gained from London 2012 was the catalyst to where I am today.