Sarah Ellington | ACC Paralympics Open Days 2017
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Sarah Ellington | ACC Paralympics Open Days 2017

January 24, 2020

The doctor came in and told me that I probably
only had a one to two percent chance of walking again. I just kind of laughed at him and said,
“It’s not going to be me. It’s not who I am.” Hi, my name’s Sarah Ellington and I’m a Para
cyclist. I had an accident two and a half years ago. I was climbing up an apple tree
and I was on my way down and I slipped and fell, and broke the middle of my back, so
my T11 and T12 vertebrae, and immediately paralysed from the waist down. The whole journey,
the whole recovery process was definitely hard. I was in the Otara spinal unit, and I spent
about three months learning how to walk again. My goal was I wanted to leave walking. I’m
a very active person, I wanted to give up multiple times but I believe everything happens
for a reason so I just kinda had to keep pushing through it and just be like, “No, things will
be alright”. Cycling probably played more of a role in my recovery afterwards. I was
just wanting to get back into sports. I watched the Rio Paralympics on TV and that really
inspired me to get out there and do something. So I went along to the Open Day and it was
just really inspiring, it was kind of mindblowing to see how many different sports were out
there for people like me. I was over in South Africa cycling for the Para cycling road world
champs, so that was a huge accomplishment to even qualify for that within six months
of getting on my bike. And then I also came sixth for my road race and time trial, which
is just an amazing experience and I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to do that. If
ACC hadn’t put me in touch with Paralympics New Zealand, I might not be cycling and representing
my country like I am today. You never know what’s around the corner you know, things
can change all of a sudden. You just gotta keep going, give it 100% and then you’ll have
no regrets in life.

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