Maya is a little girl with a big dream - the five year old wants to compete at the Paralympics
- Credit: Archant
A five year old Whittlesey girl has become the youngest member of a city athletics club after setting her sights on wheelchair racing at the Paralympics.
Maya Ratcliffe was born prematurely with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and battles daily with epilepsy and associated conditions but none of it stops her cheeky smile and determination to get on in life - competing at the Paralympics being her new goal.
Now her family have launched a fund raising page to help buy the special equipment she needs.
Maya, who is training with the Nene Valley Harriers, said: “I love racing with my friends. I love going really fast and winning!”
Her parents Fay and Aaron Ratliffe say Maya is cheeky, sassy, confident and full of life, with a belly laugh to make a room roll around in laughter.
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Her mum Fay added: “Maya’s had a tough journey. She has a lot going on but none of this stops her from loving school, swimming, dancing and most of all racing.
“She is definitely not letting her disability or doctor’s prognosis stop her aiming high and achieving her dreams.
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“Over the last year Maya’s true spirit and determination has emerged. In June Maya joined Nene Valley Harriers as their youngest ever wheelchair racer.
“We are hoping to raise money to fund a small specially designed racing wheelchair and equipment for Maya and other children to use in future races and get her on the way to her Paralympic dream.”
Maya’s love for racing started from the moment she first sat in a wheelchair at two years old when she chased her friends around nursery.
Within a few months she completed the PGER fun run with help from her family.
Next week Maya will compete in the 5km wheelchair event at Parallel 2017 at Olympic Park, London.
On September 22 she takes part in a 5km wheelchair race with Nana (Jan Dovey) as part of team ‘We’re all mad here’ in Disneyland Paris.
• Maya needs specialist wheelchair racing gloves made to measure due to her age and size, a specialist helmet and wants to raise enough to buy a small race chair for the club so more children can take part in wheelchair racing.
• Visit her GoFundMe page here.