The Medical Specialist Group has agreed to fund an e-trike for local para-athlete Sophie Veron to help her achieve her objective of rejoining the British Paracycling Development squad and racing in national events.
Sophie has coordination and balance issues which are due to the neurological condition hydrocephalus which she was diagnosed with in her teens a few years after undergoing spinal surgery for scoliosis. Since then, she has undergone numerous brain surgeries and has suffered from chronic fatigue.
After doing her first triathlon in Guernsey four years ago using a trike, Sophie was inspired to complete 30 things before turning 30, trying out a variety of sports locally including climbing, boccia and surfing. She also tricyled 240 miles from London to Paris to raise money for charity and undertook the Virtual London Marathon in a racing wheelchair.
Last year she began her journey with the British Paracycling Development squad, getting to the final 18 out of 1000 applicants. Unfortunately, as is often the case in para-sport, health issues have recently stunted her progress and she has been unable to train with the squad.
After trying out the e-trike at an inclusive cycling event in April, organised by the Health Commission with other local organisations and Ian Brown’s cycle shop, she realised it was exactly what she needed to help her achieve the level of fitness required to rejoin the British squad.
She said: “I live by the motto, “It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up.” So I’m delighted to have this trike which has given me freedom to get back on the road and experience again the feeling of turning the pedals. It’s started me thinking of all the things I’d like to do, and I’ve already got my sights set on the Guernsey’s Big Triathlon Party in September.”
MSG chief executive Jon Buckland added: “Sophie is an inspirational and determined young woman who has already achieved so much, despite everything that has been thrown at her. When we heard about her story from Caroline Barby, Active8 Inclusion Officer with the States of Guernsey, we were keen to contribute to help her regain her fitness and achieve her dreams.”
Pictured: Jon Buckland and Armina Terriss from the MSG with Sophie Veron on her new e-trike.