Inspires a catchy Christmas song
PEMBROKESHIRE UK teenager Lily Rice is on a roll to take on the world in her wheelchair.
The feisty 13-year-old has just become the first female in Europe and only the second girl world-wide to achieve a back flip in the sport of WCMX – wheelchair motocross.
The daring stunt has propelled Lily to social media fame this week, with over 16,000 Facebook views in less than 24 hours of a video showcasing her skills on website Unilad.
Lily, who lives in Manorbier and is a pupil at Greenhill School, Tenby, has a progressive condition called Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), which causes tightness and rigidity of her muscles and a reduced range of movement in her lower body.
She walks with leg splints, but uses a wheelchair most of the time – and a very special one when she hangs out at skateparks perfecting her WCMX moves.
“Skating helps me feel free and forget about my problems, and I want to show others that you can do anything you want to,” said Lily.
“You just have to put your mind to it, or do it differently.”
Lily’s sport chair was given to her by the current world WCMX champion, Aaron Wheelz Fotheringham last year, and as she said, “I have been shredding at the skatepark ever since.”
She is now trying to raise funds for a new WCMX wheelchair that will help her develop new skills and tricks and also hopes to raise funds to travel to California for the WCMX world championships in March 2018, which would see her being the first British person ever to take part.
Lily’s parents, Mark and Jenni and her 10-year-old sister Amber are no strangers to supporting Lily in her sporting missions, as she is a talented swimmer who has qualified for the Welsh Paralympic youth squad.
“But for now, she’s keeping her swimming up just for fitness and to maintain the upper body strength which she obviously needs for WCMX,” said Mark.
“She really is fired up by the sport and is a little celebrity at the skatepark in Haverfordwest where she goes two or three times a week. It’s a big part of her life.”
Lily achieved her back flip at Ramp World in Cardiff after an six-hour practice session. She was “stoked” at her achievement, she told followers on social media.
Added her dad: “Lily has really found a passion in WCMX and there’s a big future ahead for the sport, which she really wants to be a part of.”
SOURCE: Western Telegraph, 20th September 2017
Lily Rice from Manorbier is first girl in Europe to land wheelchair back flip
by Ruth Davies