The Inspired by the Games competition has now close and we are pleased to announce our prize winners!
Taking first prize, £100 vouchers, was Dawn Campion, of Ilkeston, pictured below being presented with her vouchers by Wheelblazers Chair Martin Austin.
Dawn Campion (29) won the top prize after telling us all about how she had been inspired to become more active this summer and what plans she had made to keep going in the future.
Winner Dawn said: “I was delighted to be chosen as the winner of the Inspired by the Games competition. It really has been an amazing summer and the effect of the extra activity has had on me will last a long time – my confidence has been boosted and I’m able to do more ‘mum’ things with my two young children, even simple things like giving my husband a break by taking them to play in the park.”
Joining the Wheelblazers has capped off an amazing summer of sport for Dawn, who kicked things off by taking part in the Derbyshire Baton Challenge, which involved carrying the baton from the Olympic Stadium back to Matlock via a 205 mile route and only using sustainable transport – whether on foot, by boat or wheelchair.
She said: “I started the week in my wheelchair wondering what help I could be - I can’t ride a bike due to my hips dislocating and I had never been in a canoe, but I wanted to do all this and help the youngsters. Cooking, cleaning and setting up tents seemed like a big start but on day two I was canoeing with Olympian Roger Brown!”
Dawn was able to ride an adapted bike on the home stretch to Matlock Town Hall, cycling alongside Derbyshire County Council chairman Councillor George Wharmby – “all in a week’s volunteering!” she says.
Dawn, whose condition causes her bones to dislocate easily, was introduced to Wheelchair Basketball through Wheelblazers chairman Martin Austin at a sports activity day for disabled youngsters and parents.
She enjoyed her first game so much she stayed on for another and accepted an invite to join the Wheelblazers in training.
“Unfortunately I did not attend the next session as I was in an ambulance after subluxing my neck reaching to unplug the iron. My life changes by just the small things that I do, picking up a pen has resulted in my hip partly dislocating.
“People have asked if sport is the best thing for me, but I cannot sit on the sofa getting fat,” said Dawn.
“Now I need to pass my driving test so I can get to training easier, until then I will need my husband drive and my children to watch, but they got to see mummy happy and doing something that she enjoys. This feeling is so good and my wheelchair is part of the sport. A summer of experiences all down to working with my disability and not letting my disability rule my life. Thank you sporty, wet, 2012!”
Dawn wants to use her new found passion for Wheelchair Basketball to train as a coach, meanwhile her doctor has instructed her to keep playing as the extra activity has improved her condition.
“I hope it’s encouraging to others that I’m able to be active despite my disability. Hopefully it sends the message that whatever you think is stopping you from joining in and becoming more active, you can overcome it,” she said.
Active Lifestyles Development Officer for Derbyshire Sport, Ange Kirkham, who leads the Active Derbyshire project, said: “Dawn was a very worthy winner in a hotly contested competition. What she was able to achieve this summer is a real testament to her determination and to the lasting inspirational effect of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Wheelblazers Chairman Martin Austin said:
“We are really proud of Dawn, who has joined us at a time of an incredible interest in Wheelchair Basketball following the Olympics. Anyone interested in joining the Wheelblazers is welcome to attend our training sessions on Sundays at Mackworth College.”
In second place was Nicola Parkin, of Chapel-en-le-Frith, who won £50 vouchers.
Our runners up receive cycle hire vouchers and all valid entries get 20 per cent off at Spondon running store The Derby Runner.
Well done to everyone who took part and thanks for all the great stories!
“I watched the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006 and was completely transfixed... four years later I was an Olympian representing Team GB and the youngest British Mogul skier to ever compete at the Olympics!’
"I hope my story, and those of the world-class athletes who have competed this summer, will inspire people to take up a new activity and challenge themselves to keep going. There are so many advantages to becoming more active – and you don’t have to be a competitor to reap the benefits.”
Ellie, who became the youngest British mogul skier to ever compete at the Olympics in 2010 is currently preparing for the next Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
For more information about Ellie, who has been spreading the spirit of the Olympics in local schools as part of her ‘Inspired by an Olympian’ campaign, visit www.ellie2014.com.