Be inspired by RGF grantee, Sarah-Marie

Grant awarded on 2nd December 2019


Sarah-Marie contacted us recently with an update to share with us the difference the RGF has made to her life and to share her story with our supporters. She told us: “Since I was six years old, I competed regionally in long distance running and rounders for 10 years, winning sports personality of the year at my school. Sport always enabled me to feel fulfilled, that the only barrier between myself and success was the amount of effort I put in.
Unfortunately, that soon was no longer the case.

After getting some back pain at 14, what was originally thought of as a simple sports injury became much more serious after an x-ray found out I had a birth defect in my spine, as I grew, this condition as well as my hypermobility paired with fibromyalgia led to a very dark time in my life.

I could no longer turn to sport as a relief in my life, a week before my 19th Birthday I was rushed to hospital for unbearable pain throughout my body, and on bad medication I couldn’t eat the entire week, and due to my medical conditions my college decided to ban me from campus for 2 months. I honestly did not know how my life could go in a positive direction.

A few weeks into starting university in Hull, someone asked me if I was interested in wheelchair basketball. After going to the national women’s league tournament, I was inspired by the 100s of women empowered through sport and I knew I had found a new outlet for my passion for sport.

Nearly a year into playing (before the pandemic) I was training 4-10 hours a week and competing in several leagues. Unfortunately, unlike the sports I played earlier on in my life, there is a huge barrier to entry: the equipment.

Before the support the RGF so kindly gave me, I was borrowing a sports chair that was not suited to my body; causing me pain and constant injuries, leading to me needing more physiotherapy.

Because of the RGF, I will finally be able to play at my most confident on court and give it my absolute all when the season starts again.

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