Leah on course for Paralympic dream

Picture by Allan McKenzie/AMGP.co.uk - Leah Evans, Castleford, England - 010414 - Leah Evans.
Picture by Allan McKenzie/AMGP.co.uk - Leah Evans, Castleford, England - 010414 - Leah Evans.

Inspirational Castleford wheelchair basketball player Leah Evans’ dream of taking part in the Paralympics is still alive.

Leah, 17, was born with a rare hip condition that restricted her growth and movement.

But the talented teenager has excelled at wheelchair basketball, earning a call up to team GB.

Now, after people across the Five Towns raised more than £4,500 for a new chair and spare wheels, Leah’s hoping to represent Great Britain at the Paralympic Games in Brazil in 2016.

Her mum Dawn, 49, said: “We are just overwhelmed with the generosity of people. It’s been unbelievable.

“People who don’t even know us have been donating hundreds of pounds.

“Leah is absolutely buzzing. She is so excited and the difference the new chair has made for her is amazing.”

Leah, who defied the odds after being told, aged four, she would never walk, was a passionate dancer who danced six times a week.

Then, in 2012, she had a fall and was taken back to hospital where she was told she would need a wheelchair.

Leah started wheelchair basketball last year and she already represents the north of England schools’ team, as well as turning out for Sheffield Steelers and team GB.

Leah, of Gyspy Lane, Townville, trains five nights a week and plays on a weekend.

She is also studying a BTEC in health and social care at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Sixth Form College and hopes to go on to Worcester University next year.

Mrs Evans added: “It means the world to see her doing so well because she could have given up.

“We’re really proud of her because she has fought really hard to not let it all beat her.

“If she didn’t have basketball I don’t know where she’d be.

“She’s now looking at it as her career and she’s got a lot of good friends and the all support each other.”

Leah trains in Worcester, Sheffield, Nottingham and Featherstone and all of her trips are funded by her family.

Despite raising enough money for her chair, she is still looking for sponsors to help with her travelling expenses.

If you can help call Mrs Evans on 07979 397353.