Excerpt of article By Brittany Valencic | WUFT News
Sayers Grooms, 10, was born with ataxic cerebral palsy, a condition that affects her balance and speaking capabilities. Sayers’ childhood has been characterized by countless different doctors and an array of physical therapy appointments. Activities like tying her shoes, brushing her teeth and especially running, pose as challenges for the future fifth-grader.
Despite her disadvantages, Sayers participates in RaceRunning, an innovative Danish sport created for individuals with impaired balance. Competitors use custom-built RaceRunning bikes that resemble a hybrid between a wheelchair and a tricycle without pedals; a device that provides competitors with the proper support to fix their balance. The vehicle allows athletes who suffer from cerebral palsy or who are confined to wheelchairs to oftentimes run for the very first time. Every year, RaceRunning athletes from all around the world gather in Denmark to participate in the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) Open European Championship & the International Racerunners Camp and Cup; a competition that Sayers already held four world records in.
It is this ability to move that makes RaceRunning so special for those who participate in the sport, said Connie Hansen, the co-founder of RaceRunning, who understands the satisfaction this mobility provides on a personal level. Hansen won 14 medals in wheelchair racing during the Paralympic Games once an accident left her with a severe spinal cord injury.
“No one [in the United States] has any idea that [RaceRunning] exists or how it can benefit so many thousands of athletes in our country,” Grooms said. “Health only improves as a result of these devices.”
“I want other people to be able to have this feeling…of freedom,” Sayers said.
To read the complete article by Brittany Valencic, click here.
Thanks to Mary and Sayers Grooms for sharing the story; Brittany Valencic for writing the article; WUFT News for committing its resources to publish the article; Google for helping me find the article; and all the people who, directly or indirectly made it possible to share the picture, text, and links in this post.