IPC Athletics Championships | Carly’s Bid For Rio
Hi, Thanks for taking time to read my page!
My name is Carly Tait and I am a wheelchair racer from Stockport, Manchester. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, mostly affecting my legs, which means I have problems with walking, balance, co-ordination and stamina.
Disabled or not, I am not what you may think of as a ‘typical’ athlete.
I hated sport
Growing up my relationship with sport and exercise was a difficult one. It was always something that I had to do, never something I chose to do.
In P.E. I was only ever given the option of participating in able-bodied sport; which, for an awkward teenager, left me embarrassed and often humiliated.
It made me develop a strong disliking for anything resembling exercise and as soon as I left school, I was glad never to have anything to do with sport again!
Throughout my early twenties this same attitude was firmly embedded and I focused most of my time on my career, family and friends; most of whom will tell you that the idea of me being an athlete only existed in a parallel universe.
Then London 2012 happened
The London 2012 Paralympic Games changed all of that. The media coverage, the perception of disability, the ability of these amazing athletes left me in complete awe and for the first time in my life, a disability didn’t mean you couldn’t achieve.
After the Paralympic Games I decided to find a club that catered for disability sport (no easy task) and I luckily came across Stockport Wheelchair Racing, headed up by ex-GB coach, Rick Hoskins.
During the first nine months of my new hobby I was diabolical. I wasn’t used to being active, so I was constantly exhausted. I couldn’t push in a straight line, I didn’t have any flexibility, it was far more pain than gain.
However, I knew I wanted to be on that Paralympics start line in Rio 2016 with the best, so I persevered.
Now I’m a Wheelchair Racer
I began entering competitions, which I lost, but I was so determined to improve and not give up that I started training more and more.
Slowly I got fitter and slowly my times started to improve. Hard work paid off and last year, in my second competitive season, I was selected to race for Team GB at the 2014 Diamond League against World Record holder Hannah Cockcroft.
I came sixth, ahead of Canada and USA and finished my 2014 season with top 10 world rankings for all of my events (100m, 200m, 400m & 800m).
World IPC Athletics Championships and beyond
So far 2015 has gone from strength to strength. I have upped my training to six days a week, sometimes twice a day depending on when I can fit it in between work.
I have already raced some of the world’s best in Dubai and Switzerland, which have been amazing experiences. My goal this year is to represent Team GB in the World IPC Athletics Championships in Doha in October.
I currently rank No.2 in the UK, 6th in the world for the T34 100m and I am improving my rankings in the other disciplines. One of my big focuses this year is the 800m, it needs a lot of work; which means more training and more racing.
Like a lot of athletes I am self-funded, and as a senior athlete funding is thin on the ground. I work full time, however the cost of everyday living, mortgage, bills etc, doesn’t leave a lot for some of the costs associated with the sport and quite often I have to go without, or borrow equipment.
Where you come in
I have set up this page to raise funds for my road to the Rio 2016 Paralympics, which will hopefully begin at the World IPC Athletics Championships in Doha.
I am determined to reach Doha and the Paralympics and I am working as hard as I possibly can to make it happen. But to get there I need more than determination, I need funding to help with things like this:
- Equipment & maintenance of the chair (helmet, straps, gloves, tyres, push rims etc)
- Travel costs (at home and abroad),
- Competition entry fees
- Accommodation at competitions
I have the belief that I can get to the Rio 2016 Paralympics, but right now I just need a bit of help and support to help me achieve that goal!
Any donation towards my training, equipment and competing costs would be fantastic and it really would make a huge difference to my training and competing.
Thank you so much for your help – I will do everything I can to make you proud!