CP Sport collected profiles from people with CP that have participated in physical activity during 2023. The profiles are being used to celebrate and showcase the activities that have been achieved in 2023.

Name: Aryell Sheedy
Role: Athlete
Region: Dublin, Ireland
Clubs: Donore Harriers School: The King’s Hospital
Which sports did you participate in during 2023: I participated in 100M, 200M and 400M on the track. I competed in freestyle (50M and 100M), breaststroke (50M) and backstroke (50M). I also swim and row with my school teams.
What was your biggest achievement in physical activity in 2023: My biggest achievement has been on the track in 2023, competing in T37 events. I had new PBs in 200M and 400M and competed in 100M for the first time. I was also fortunate to have a few wins this year. I took up running during lockdown. I played rugby since I was a kid and as we could not train or play, our coach told us we should all stay fit. In 2022, I started to try athletics. I started out as a middle-distance runner and in Nov. 2022, I got to compete at the IWAS World games in Portugal. I ran in 800M, 1500M, 200M and 400M. Coming away from the games, I knew I wanted to be on the track and learning to sprint. In the past year, I have worked on 200M and 400M and started to compete in 100M. I got to compete in England and Czechia this year, which were brilliant experiences. In Swimming, I competed at the Northern Ireland Swim Gala and won in 4 events – freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke. In November, I ran a half marathon and finished in 1 hour 25 minutes. Running a half marathon was a personal goal and glad I did it, but I am now back sprinting. Sprinting is my focus and I try to make sure all my training and effort supports it first.

How did you benefit from participating in physical activity throughout 2023: Sport is great for all parts of life – being active, staying fit, meeting new people, and experiencing different types of competition. I really enjoy learning how to run faster and improve my speed and stamina on the track. I have had success with winning medals, but the best experience is learning how to do it, taking part, and seeing yourself develop.

What would you like to achieve in sport in 2024: I really want to improve my times at 100M, 200M and 400M; get more experience running in competitions and hopefully race at some international para events this year.

Which sports would you like to try in 2024: I started rowing this year, and love being out on the river. It’s also great fun rowing with friends.

What would you say to other people with CP that are thinking of trying physical activity in 2024: Joining a new sport or activity is hard because you don’t want to embarrass yourself or just not be able to do the activity in front of lots of new people. This is the hardest part – taking the first step to get involved. Once you’re in and having fun, sport and activity give you so much confidence. I played rugby since I was a kid. I loved to tackle but never thought I would ever be a runner, let alone sprinting. Now two years on, I have had so many great experiences and made so many new friends. Give it a go, you never know, it might be the best thing ever.

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