Staff and students at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester were proud to see Year 11 student, Rosie Macauley take part in the Great North Wheelchair event this weekend.
For most people there aren’t too many obstacles to becoming more active but when you have a disability, there are a few more barriers that you have to overcome, which is where Simplyhealth’s brilliant new initiative to get millions moving and Great Run comes into its own.
The Unlimited Great North Wheelchair event took place for the first time ever along the iconic quayside in Newcastle, as part of the Simplyhealth Great North Run weekend. Five people with varying disabilities were fitted with race wheelchairs and were trained by Paralympic coach, Rick Hoskins, before taking part in the one mile event on the 9th September.
Saint Paul’s Rosie Macauley was one of the five amazing novice wheelchair racers. Under the watchful eye and guidance of Rick Hoskins, and Paralympic Bronze medallist Andy Small, the five racers got their first experience in the race chairs in July.
Rosie, 15, suffers from cerebral palsy in all four of her limbs and also has a heart condition which affects her breathing. She explained: “When I watched the wheelchair racing in the Paralympics last year it motivated me to give it a go because it looked very fast and fun. I think this campaign is a good idea to get more people up and moving and breaking down barriers for disabled people. When I first got in the racing chair I felt excited because it’s something very different to anything I’ve ever tried before. I just couldn’t wait to get out on the track and go!”
Once were fitted with her race chairs, Rosie began working on technique and applying the expert training advice given by coach, Rick Hoskins.
Mr Alex Hren, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s, said: “We are all incredibly impressed by Rosie’s enthusiasm and her dedication to training to take part in this event. She doesn’t let anything hold her back and we are hoping that this will just be the start of a very successful wheelchair racing career. She has proved that anything is possible if you set your mind to it!”