This time last year I had completed my first Rotary Disabled Sports Championship following this many opportunities opened up to me.
On Saturday I arrived at Coventry as far as we knew there would not be a full team but at least 6 others would turn up.
Apart from the rotarian who had organised the event from our counties,my husband and a coach no one else arrived from our team. This made an embarrassing situation. I was full of mixed emotions from being let down, embarrassed, angry and upset. After a while I decided to make a joke of it "Billy no team mates" came to mind.
As you will see from the links every team has a table where packed lunches are provided and is a safe area to leave sports kit etc.
The table next to ours was Warwickshire. As soon as they heard I was on my own they "adopted" me. This meant I could participate in some of the sports I had been entered into.
I was entered into the senior ladies swimming and relay event for Warwickshire and this meant a lot. I also felt humble as one of my swimming relay team mates was an 8 year old boy with no arms. I wondered how he would manage the event. His swimming teacher held him above the water as it was too deep for him to stand up in it.
Once the starter said "go" he launched himself backwards and kicked his legs as fast as he could. When it came to the relay he was exhausted yet he swam again. I was fortunate to be able to help him out of the pool once he had completed his swim.
On Sunday he was given a sandwich. I wondered if his mum would hold this for him. He was passed his sandwich and he held it in his toes quite happily.
He then played football and fell over. In his usual style he just picked himself up with no fuss whatsoever. I was completely humbled watching him and absolutely fascinated by his outlook on life.
We had a laugh on Sunday while practising for the wheelchair pitstop. We had borrowed a wheelchair with quick release wheels for the purpose. This had to be held by two lifters while two "mechanics" released the wheels and raced around the course then the wheels were put back on and the racer had to continue on with the rest of the course to prove the wheels had been put on properly.
This was a very fast race and the lifters and mechanics had to deal with three separate wheelchairs as there was one junior , one female senior and one male senior competitor.
This event was timed and the room was fascinated watching this event.
The next event was the wheelchair slalom. Unfortunately the wheelchair we had borrowed was too wide for this event so I had to use my usual wheelchair.
The course is laid out in such a way that the wheelchair has to go through two tram lines then, round some cones then into a block fowards and immediately reversed back into another block where the wheelchair had to go backwards to the block at the back without touching and had to ensure the whole wheelchair went over the line.
This takes some skill and if anyone didn't go all the way in time penalties were issued.
Luckily for me one of my teammates had turned up on Sunday for his events so we just had to borrow a junior from Warwickshire to be able to take part in these events. This event was appreciated by spectators and those taking part alike. For everyone that completed the course the whole room cheered.
It was an amazing weekend and one I will never forget.
At the end of the event there was a closing ceremoney where awards and trophies were given out. By this time my team mate had left and I was back to being "Billy no team mates".
Some of the teams took team photographs afterwards so I decided I would just head off home quietly. Someone noticed and called me back for the Warwickshire team photograph. I made some new friends and was invited to join three other teams next year if a team can't be put together next year.
I will just wait and see what happens.