Northampton Academy Sixth Former Kascie has successfully raised funds for a specially adapted wheelchair to help him pursue his dream to get into the Team GB Paralympic Rugby Team.
Born with Quadriplegic Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy, Kascie has always found it difficult to play sports and take part in able-bodied activities. This affected his self-confidence whilst growing up, causing him to be quiet and withdrawn. But, in January 2017, Kascie heard about the newly established Northampton Saints Wheelchair Rugby Team and was keen to get involved from the outset. Since attending the first taster sessions he has never looked back!
The Saints Wheelchair Rugby Team gave him the opportunity to compete in a sport he loved with people who share similar disabilities. Within the first twelve months of playing in the team, he went from strength to strength, playing in the Division 3 Super Series with Woodbridge Warriors as well as the Rugby 5s with the Northampton Saints Wheelchair Rugby Team.
However, Kascie required a new specially adapted wheelchair to enable him to continue to play at a higher level and pursue his dreams of one day playing for the Team GB Paralympic squad. To help meet his £5,000 fundraising target, he auctioned off a signed rugby ball and shirt kindly donated by Northampton Saints and hosted his very own quiz night. His friends at Northampton Academy also got actively involved in the process and organised a range of sports matches against their teachers to raise further funds.
Kind-hearted Kascie is determined nonetheless to continue his fundraising efforts so that he can help buy further chairs for the club or other new club start-ups, to support other players in a similar position to him.
His fundraising has earned him the runner-up award for ‘Disabled Sports Person of the Year’ in the Northampton Leisure Trust Sports Awards, and he is now being approached by various organisations via his club to tell his inspirational story.
Kascie said, “Wheelchair rugby has helped me grow as a person, I have gained confidence and now have a ‘can do’ attitude. I have become a key member of the teams I play in and have earned the respect of teammates and other players.
“The club is growing week on week and thanks to Great British Wheelchair Rugby, I was able to participate due to their kind loaning of chairs to the club. As the club continues to grow and more players participate, the number of chairs vs the number of players is slowly decreasing and in the future, we may not have enough chairs available for each participant.
“I am thrilled that I have now raised enough to purchase my own chair, allowing me to continue to train each week and allowing for the club chairs to be available to others who may wish to participate in this life-changing sport, just as I have. The chair has made a massive difference to my game.”
Mr Parnell commented, “When Kascie first approached me about his fundraising I was impressed by his ambition, determination and strength of character. He has gained so much confidence since taking up Wheelchair Rugby and Northampton Academy is proud to be supporting him.”