Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Lost My Right Foot Four Let It Affect Me. Now the Best Racers across Years Ago but I Didn't I'm Competing against the Globe; Jade's Well on Her Way to Greatness

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Lost My Right Foot Four Let It Affect Me. Now the Best Racers across Years Ago but I Didn't I'm Competing against the Globe; Jade's Well on Her Way to Greatness

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE ROBSON

A SCHOOLGIRL'S chance meeting with a star Paralympian set her on the fast track to sporting success.

Wheelchair athlete Jade Jones was born without the top half of her right leg, yet has always refused to let her disability hold her back.

Nearly two years ago, Redcar-based sporting great Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson was special guest at a disabled school sports meeting Jade was attending.

She invited Jade, of Brambles Farm, to try wheelchair racing and the talented youngster hasn't looked back since.

But to continue her sporting journey, she now desperately needs sponsorship to help with travel expenses.

Ormesby School pupil Jade, 14, has made rapid progress in the sport and currently lies second in the UK rankings, behind Paralympian Shelly Woods, and sixth in the world Under-16s category.

Training with Dame Tanni and her husband Ian has brought Jade on leaps and bounds since her first competitive race in Gateshead in May 2008.

She currently does 90 minutes of training six days a week, with conditioning and exercises every two days.

"Some days I can be out on the road for an hour, other days I'm sprinting. It's hard work but I need to do it," she said.

"When I'm racing, it's a real adrenalin rush at the beginning. Then it's all about using strength and technique.

"And when you win, you can't describe it, really.

"My ambition is to win a gold medal at the Paralympics in London in 2012."

Jade, who is also asthmatic, is very matter-of-fact about her disability, explaining how she was born with her knee effectively attached to her hip.

MENTOR: her She said: "I used to have a false leg but I didn't like it so I use crutches now.

"My right leg went down to where my knee was on my left leg.

"I had my foot amputated about four years ago after it started going limp. I sometimes tried to use it but once I fell and hit my head on a door frame, so the specialists at Great Ormond Street said amputation was the best option. …

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