A BROMSGROVE woman is facing a race against time to raise more than £3,000 to fund a trip to Berlin which could determine her GB place at this year’s Rio Paralympics.
Leanna Horne, who was born with Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy, has swiftly climbed the British ranks in seated club throwing despite only taking up the sport just two years ago.
The 28-year-old has been selected by Paralympics GB for the Grand Prix event which takes place at the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sports Park in Berlin on July 16 and 17 but she needs to find £3,090 to cover the costs of flights and accommodation for her and a carer.
And with the payment deadline for entry fees falling on July 1, she is hoping Standard readers and local companies will come forward and sponsor her to set her on the road to Rio.
Without funding to go to the grand prix, she said she may be forced to forfeit her place on the GB team.
In January 2015, Leanna gained her international licence, allowing her to compete in any seated competition in Europe.
Now, Leanna is just one step away from achieving her goal of representing her country at the games.
Her journey began in 2002 where she started seated shot-put and she quickly progressed to national level as a junior.
Leanna, whose disability has left her with curvature of the spine and affects all four of her limbs, became a senior contender in 2011.
In 2014 she began participating in the seated discuss, seated club throw and shot-put categories and by the end of the year she was ranked second in the UK in all three disciplines.
Two years later Leanna is now the UK’s number one seated throws athlete.
She said: “It’s just a huge worry that without confirmation of funding being available to me, I may be forced to forfeit my place on the team.
“The thought of having to do that after 14 years of being a seated throws athlete, on the brink of my Paralympic debut, is just unbearable.
“This is probably my only chance to represent Great Britain at the Paralympics as I will no longer be able to compete as a senior by 2020.
“I would be grateful for any support and it would mean so much to me.”
Sponsors will be able to have their names and logos on her wheelchair and throwing frame.
Anyone who can sponsor Leanne should email email@example.com or call her on 01527 570078.