Inspiring and supporting young people seriously injured through sport


26 year-old Sophie was paralysed when she dived into shallow water whilst travelling in Thailand. She lost all movement from her neck down and little did she know, was to spend the next six months in hospital receiving treatment.

As the weeks went by, Sophie began to regain some movement in her body, but she was struggling to understand the full impacts of her injuries, how to cope mentally with how she was feeling and fearful for a new future she hadn’t planned.

Sophie joined the Foundation community shortly after leaving hospital and credits Hambo with teaching her how to live again.

“For a long time I was an inpatient in hospital and I wasn’t able to experience life. When I met Matt I began to understand what it was about. He showed me that you can do incredible things after a life-changing injury and he encourages everyone at the centre to get busy living and appreciate everything we can.

“Being part of the community at the centre is something you can never imagine having to do, but once you are part of it, you wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Sophie began receiving physiotherapy at the centre alongside weekly personal training sessions and now has movement back in almost all of her body, she’s even recently taken her first tentative steps on crutches. Thanks to the support and inspiration she’s received from the Foundation she has big plans for the future.

“I’m so grateful that I’ve had the mental strength to accept my disability and I have many hopes and plans for my future. I want to support others that are beginning the same journey as me and I want to get more involved with a sport and see how far I can push myself physically.

“The Foundation supports you to become comfortable with your disability and encourages you to break out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. They use shared experiences and knowledge to make you feel like you’re not alone. They support us and support our future.”