Paralympian Carly Tait visits Trafford CIL FOUR years ago, Carly Tait was sat watching the London Paralympics on TV. Now, after nearly four years of hard work, the wheelchair athlete from Sale will be racing for Great Britain at Rio 2016. She recently visited Trafford CIL to talk about her life in sport at the TDAN Coffee Morning. The 30-year-old answered questions and showed people the racing wheelchair that has helped her turn a sporting dream into reality. Q. How did the Paralympian get into wheelchair racing? I got into wheelchair racing after 2012 I’m a member of Stockport Wheelchair Racing which is part of Stockport Harriers. Q. What has been her fastest time in a race? I compete in the 100, 400 and 800m races and I rank number seven in the world for the 400 and in the 100 and the 800 I rank number six in the world. My best event is the 100m and currently I can do it in 19.17 seconds. This year I want to go below 19 seconds and that would put me in bronze. Q. How does she get ready for a race? I find the busier I am the better. If I just sit around before a race and only do a bit of a warm up, I don’t feel prepared. I have a bit of a routine where I check the chair, check the tyres and I’ll get in the chair and do quite a few warm up laps. At the start of every race I’ve always got to prepare my starts – in the 100m your start in the most important thing. Q. Are there any Paralympic athletes who she looks up to? The whole team of London 2012 inspired me, really. Individuals – David Weir and Hannah Cockfroft. Q. A former pupil of Ashton on Mersey School, Carly, who has cerebral palsy, said she didn’t enjoy sport at school. How has becoming involved, in later life, changed her as a person? Sport, for me, has given me a much wider acceptance of who I am and my disability. I had a really tough relationship with my disability before sport and because I do sport I’ve met so many other people who have such positive stories and positive feelings about their disability it rubs off on you. Q. What would she like to achieve by telling her story of sporting success at Trafford CIL? Maybe I can inspire people to reach for whatever goal they want. It doesn’t have to be sport, it could be a career. It’s just all about thinking I want to do this, how do I get there? Because I’ve had that experience I would like to pass that on and inspire others. Q. How does her disability affect her? I’ve got cerebral palsy in my lower legs but it also affects my co-ordination, my hearing and my eyesight.