Ava is nine years old and from Penrith in Sydney’s west. Despite living with high level Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele, one of Ava’s favourite things to do is participate in wheelchair track racing. Her coaches at Wheelchair Sports NSW recommended Ava be supplied with a Top End Eliminator OSR, with room to grow, so she could increase her participation in wheelchair racing and her enjoyment of, and engagement with, the sport.
Sport Development Officer Mark Wilson said Ava has found a natural affinity to wheelchair racing, having been a regular attendee at junior holiday camps. Ava was using a second-hand chair designed for someone else to train in and was still showing tremendous progression. “The size of the chair made it difficult for Ava to control and was inhibiting her ability to fully take part in training sessions,” said Mark.
“We hope to have Ava involved in both school level and club level events by the end of the year and will likely see her taking part in some of the 2019 Summer Down Under Series.”
Ava’s physiotherapist supported the application for the $6K chair which the John MacLean Foundation is delighted to be able to fund. Emily Healey firmly believes competing in a sporting event will improve Ava’s confidence and her fitness and wellbeing. “It will also continue to encourage positive physical activity in which, children with disabilities often choose not to engage in, or lack interest in pursuing.”
Ava can now use her wheelchair to practice outside training hours and she will be able to take it out with her family on weekends and after school which will not only improve her racing, but also her participation, fitness and social engagement – so important to her health and wellbeing.