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Hoping to use Paralympic experience as an inspiration

By Western Gazette - Crewkerne  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

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THE woman behind the new parallel sports club in Wincanton hopes to use her experience as an inspiration for disabled youngsters.

Amy Coombes, 23, recently returned from the trip of a lifetime after being a technical adviser in Boccia at the Paralympic Games.

The selfless volunteer has now set her sights on making the parallel sports club, to be launched at Wincanton Sports Ground next month, a hub for future Paralympians.

She said: "I don't think there is any disabled group in Wincanton, so that was the inspiration for setting up this club.

"The Paralympics was absolutely amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"The noise from the crowds heard on TV didn't even come close to the real thing. It was the best thing I've ever done.

"This club is an opportunity to pass on the Olympic and Paralympic legacy to the people of Wincanton.

"I will tell young people about everything I experienced at the Games and hope to inspire them to try to get there in the future.

"It could open up a lot of doors for the young people in the town."

Miss Coombes became interested in disabled sports while studying sports education and coaching at the University of Gloucestershire.

It was there that she was first introduced to Boccia and after undertaking regional and national referees courses in the sport, she started working with Boccia England.

Her enthusiasm led her to be eventually fast-tracked to be a technical adviser at the Paralympics.

She said: "The people I have met through Boccia are a great bunch of people and the athletes all work hard to achieve their greatest potential, many with very severe disabilities.

"The camaraderie is fantastic and I consider it a privilege to be able to work with these outstanding athletes.

"I feel very honoured and privileged to have been part of Boccia at the Paralympics. The athletes were exceptional and all worked so hard to achieve their best.

"It is wonderful to see the determination they have to overcome their disabilities and to achieve their best. I would not have missed it for the world."

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