A Sheffield teenager is trying desperately to raise funds for a bespoke wheelchair to help her progress in the sport she loves.
Lucy Millar,who has cerebral palsy and is also partially sighted, represents the Sheffield Steelers Wheelchair Basketball Club at under 19 level despite having to borrow a chair that hampers her posture and mobility.
The 16-year-old, from Southey Green, is so determined to get the equipment she needs that she’s teamed up with Caudwell Children to try to raise the £3,300 needed for a specialist chair.
The national charity provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
Lucy, who trains twice a week after taking up basketball just 18 months ago, said: “A new chair, that fits my measurements, will be safer for me to sit in. It will help me develop new skills, and become a faster, better player.
“I love the game as it’s perfect for my condition, and I get a real adrenalin rush from playing.
“If I don’t get a new chair I may have to give up, which would be heartbreaking as I’ve made so many new friends. Basketball is also helping me to become more independent.”
Mum Mandy, aged 49, believes a new chair will improve Lucy’s chances of going on to represent Yorkshire and possibly compete in the Paralympics.
She said: “It’s a little like a footballer playing in the wrong sized boots. To enable Lucy to perform to the maximum of her ability she needs something that’s made to measure.”
She added: “It’s been difficult for Lucy. She’s a twin and she’s had to watch her sister Amy qualify as a scuba diver and become an accomplished karate player who’s currently training for her black belt.
“Seeing her sister flourish hasn’t helped Lucy’s low self-esteem and confidence, but her performances on the basketball court have. Now she’s really benefiting from her sister being able to watch and be proud of her.”
Caudwell Children is asking the local community to get behind Lucy’s appeal.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/lucysappeal or text a donation to LMWA77.