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Paralympic sports - 27. June 2007.

Paralympic skier to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about disability sport

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Miller, who made her Paralympic debut at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin, where she finished 10th in the Downhill, is to embark on the trek of her life as she bids to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with USA Paralympians Sandy Dukat and Hannah Pennington and Finnish skier Katja Saarien.

 

Miller, who is from Brockenhurst in Hampshire, had her left leg amputated below the knee following a skiing accident when she was 18. Along with Dukat and Saarien - also leg amputees - and Pennington, who has Cerebral Palsy, she aims to raise nearly $39,000 to pay for two scholarships for more women to train at the National Sports Centre for the Disabled (NSCD) in Colorado, where they train.

 

As part of the trip, to take place in September, the Kenyan and Tanzanian Paralympic Associations have asked that female athletes from the respective countries join the trek in order to raise awareness of women in disability sport in their own countries. And after the climb Liz will be attending a sports conference and going into schools for disabled children to talk about her disability and her sport.

 

Liz said: “I haven’t done anything like this before - I’ve done a sky dive – but never a trek like this. I think in terms of fitness we’ll be fine as we are all athletes, so it’s just problems that may arise with our disabilities, having never walked that far on rough terrain on our stumps before.

 

“In terms of training I’ve been doing a lot of running – as I always do in the summer to keep fit - and over the next few months we will all be doing a lot of walking in the mountains in Colorado to help us prepare.

 

“Overall I think climbing the peak will be the biggest challenge for us all but I’m also a type 1 diabetic so for me trying to work out what food I need to eat in the hot conditions to make sure I have enough energy and insulin will be a challenge too.

 

“I’m really looking forward to going now – it keeps expanding and getting bigger and better and I’m really excited. To have the chance to go and talk to people about disability sport will also be amazing.

 

“Getting involved in disability sport has changed my life and to be able to give that chance to someone else – whether through the scholarships that we are raising money for or through talking to people and promoting disability sport - is a fantastic opportunity.  

 

“The four of us have the NSCD to thank for getting us into skiing so this will also give us the chance to give something back.”

 

For further information about the British Paralympic Association, please contact Sian Davies in the Press Office on 0207 211 5240 or 07721 892686 or by email at sian.davies@paralympics.org.uk. For news updates visit the BPA website at www.paralympics.org.uk

 

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