Worthing wheelchair athlete launches comeback after injury, and needs sponsors to make Paralympic dreams come true
A wheelchair athlete whose Paralympic goals were hampered by a sudden injury is back in action – and she is looking for sponsorship to make her dreams a reality.
Lizzie Williams has been exercising hard at The Gym Hub in Worthing’s Guildbourne Centre to get back to peak fitness after an 18-month struggle. And it paid off with a personal best time in an international race in June.
The 23-year-old, of Heene Road, Worthing, wanted to reach out to local businesses for sponsorship so she could focus on her training.
She said: “I’m very proud to represent Worthing in whatever I do and wherever I go. It would be great to have as much support as I can.”
After racing in front of 30,000 people in a wheelchair racing showcase at the Diamond League athletics competition in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2016, Lizzie’s goal was to represent Great Britain at the Paralympic Games. But in January 2018, disaster struck just before she came home from a New Year’s Eve break in Bern, Switzerland, with her partner Rosa. After being rushed to hospital with sudden pain in her stomach, she was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia, which meant a section of her intestine had poked through her abdominal muscles and became trapped.
While the emergency surgery was a success, she could not lift her arms for at least six weeks.
She said: “That was really difficult. This had been my entire life, so what do I do when I can’t do any exercise?”
Lizzie said she was pain-free by July, but it was the mental impact of the injury that endured. She said: “I had no routine, no structure, no income; I just didn’t know what to do with myself.”
It was at Christmas that Lizzie turned a corner and decided to return to competition.
Fast forward to the end of May, and Lizzie had taken part in three major events in Switzerland and beaten her personal best in the 200m on the last day of competing.
She said: “I literally got faster every day.”
Now between 20th and 40th in the world rankings, the former Worthing College student was looking forward to training with her squad in London again, and setting her sights on the Paris Paralympics in 2024
Anyone interested in sponsoring Lizzie can email [email protected]