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Disabled teen inspired by Paralympics to join Haringey wheelchair group

Doug Stone with Katherine McCrimmon. Picture: Tony Gay. Doug Stone with Katherine McCrimmon. Picture: Tony Gay.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
7:00 AM

A disabled teenager inspired by this summer’s Paralympic Games has decided to join Haringey’s first wheelchair athletics group in the hope of one day competing in a marathon.

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Left to right: Doug Stone with Wheelchair Racing Group members Ashley Archer, Vanessa Wallace and Katherine McCrimmon. Picture: Tony Gay.Left to right: Doug Stone with Wheelchair Racing Group members Ashley Archer, Vanessa Wallace and Katherine McCrimmon. Picture: Tony Gay.

Katherine McCrimmon, 18, joined the Wheelchair Racing Group, which meets at White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre, in White Hart Lane, Wood Green, earlier this month.

The University of Westminster student, who has no feeling in her feet as a result of being born with spina bifida, told the Journal that watching performances from Paralympians, such as wheelchair athlete David Weir, had left her determined to get involved.

She said: “The Paralympics are what kicked me into thinking ‘right, I want to do this now.’ Every single race that David Weir competed in, I was sat glued to the TV.

“I thought ‘I could do that’ so I looked it up on the internet and I found the Wheelchair Racing Group.”

So far, Katherine, who lives in Edmonton, has been to just one training session with the group, thought to be Haringey’s first, and hopes to buy a new lightweight wheelchair for racing in the near future.

She added: “I’m loving it, I’ve only been to one session and I was in my everyday wheelchair. I like going fast, any chance I get to be moving fast in a wheelchair, I’m off! I would love to do a marathon at some point.”

The club’s coach Doug Stone, 24, who was also born with spina bifida, has been encouraged by the new interest in disabled sport since the Paralympics and is keen to get more people to join the club.

He said: “The main aim is to get more people in the area into wheelchair racing and to try and develop the sport in this area because having lived here all my life I know there aren’t many opportunities for people.”

Tamsin Fudge, Run! Athletics Activator for Haringey, said: “There isn’t a lot of disability athletics in Haringey. There is a gap and I’m trying to fill that gap to make sure that people regardless of their disability have the chance to get involved in something within Haringey.”

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