Worthing-based wheelchair athlete Lizzie Williams is receiving financial backing from a local charitable foundation to boost her dream of competing at the World Para Athletics European Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland in 2021.
Lizzie already competes internationally in T54 wheelchair racing events and is aiming to represent Great Britain at next year's showcase thanks in part to support from the Carpenter Box Charitable Foundation (CBCF).
Lizzie was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bones), but her athletic ability and determination to succeed has seen her win numerous sporting accolades. Now she is training hard to achieve her dream of becoming a GB para-athlete next year.
Even during lockdown, she has managed to continue her six days a week training regime at home, thanks to a 'rolling road' and creative adaption of equipment to maintain her strength and conditioning routines.
The specialist equipment required for wheelchair racing makes it an expensive sport for participants, and so far Lizzie has managed to generate her own funding. Now though, she feels that the sponsorship from CBCF could be a game changer for her.
"Now that I have the support of CBCF, it's taken some of the pressure off me, knowing that every month there is a pot of money there that I can use to support my training regime and maintain my equipment" said Lizzie.
"I am so thankful for their support and hope that sometime soon when we can race again, I will be able to show how much difference it has made to my performance."
When not racing, Lizzie actively promotes disability sport in the local community and over the last couple of years has worked with around 50 schools across West Sussex, sharing her story and supporting specific campaigns and sports days.
Chartered accountants MHA Carpenter Box has offices in Worthing, Gatwick and Brighton and was one of the first businesses in Sussex to set up a charitable arm with a focus on supporting smaller local organisations and people who often find it difficult to raise funds. The foundation - which has now raised over £200,000 in total - is run by staff trustees along with one partner, who together decide on donations and grants.