Hear Samuel’s story from his mother Alwena. Samuel suffered a Spinal...
Harriet was born able bodied and was sporty as soon as she was able. Her main sports then were swimming and gymnastics. Harriet had always said she wanted to go to the Olympics with her swimming. She started competing locally and was starting to improve.
At the age of 9 years, Harriet became ill and her balance, mobility and continence suddenly changed. She spent the school holidays in Southampton General Hospital but they could not diagnose what was wrong. It was shown that Harriet had a problem with the coating on her brain and spine with bare patches. These patches caused her nerves to short (so to speak) and this was causing the balance, mobility and continence problems.
Over the last 6 years, Harriet has had various treatments and tests but to no avail. The hospital still do not know what is wrong and can only treat the symptoms. Harriet gradually got worse over time and now mostly uses a wheelchair. Harriet got very low and felt her dreams were over. Then we discovered WheelPower at Stoke Mandeville. Harriet went along to one of their Junior Camps in 2009 and tried out various disability sports. It was noted by an ex-paralympian that Harriet had a natural talent for the archery. We have never looked back since. Harriet joined a local Club, attended more Camps at Stoke Mandeville and joined the British Wheelchair Archery Association and went to their training camps. Through the different camps, Harriet was spotted by an Archery GB Talent Officer and was invited to attend a Talent Identification Camp at Lilleshall, Telford. After attending, she was invited to become a member of the Confirmation Development Squad for Archery GB. She is currently the youngest member.
Harriet now has aspirations to reach Rio in 2016 and the foundation has assisted by giving Harriet a Youbike to help with her training, we look forward to hearing more from Harriet over the coming years as she strives to reach the Paralympics.