Paralympic hopeful Liz McTernan has received a further helping hand in her quest to reach Rio this summer.
The Grimoldby-based rider is close to reaching a fund-raising target to replace her badly-damaged bike after receiving a £1,500 cheque from chartered accountants Duncan & Toplis.
Securing a new bike is vital to Liz’s chances of being selected for Team GB for the Paralympics in Brazil in September.
She has also received donations recently from Louth Lions, Dr Sandy Wilmott, from the University of Lincoln, and St Edith’s Church, in Grimoldby. There has also been an offer of match-funding from the Matt Hampson Foundation set up by the former Leicester Tigers rugby player who was left paralysed from the neck down following a training ground accident with England Under 21s in 2005.
Liz said: “The money that Duncan & Toplis has given me is invaluable and means that now I only need another £2,000 to get my new bike.
“I am very grateful to everyone who supports me on my journey in para-sport.
“I crashed and damaged my three-year-old race bike twice last year and it has also been damaged by airline baggage handlers over the years.”
Liz competes in the Women’s Handbike 4 (WH4) category and is ranked seventh in the world for that category.
She was overall champion in the European Handcycle Circuit race series for 2015 and is a two-time world record-holder for Women’s Arms-only Speed Trials at Battle Mountain, Nevada in 2015.
“To be selected, I need to be a consistent gold medallist at World Cup level between now and Rio,” she added.
“My best finish in a major world championship is fourth (at the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Italy last summer) so I’ve stepped up my training massively.
“I have a new coach, Dr Ralf Lindschulten, who tests me regularly and sets my training goals accordingly, which means I’m out there on the bike more than ever. It’s all based on power and every six weeks my training is tweaked so I can improve.”
The new bike costs around £10,000, which also includes extra parts such as racing wheels, disc wheels, a power meter and an onboard computer which can relay times and information to her coach.
Boston-based Fogarty Filled Products has also provided Liz with a customised van for travelling which has allowed her to enter more competitions.
Duncan & Toplis director Christine Newitt said: “We first met Liz at the Boston Business Awards where she was giving a speech and we met up again recently to see what we could do to help her with her attempts to get to Rio.
“We hope that other Lincolnshire businesses may come forward to support an inspiring local athlete who is so committed.”
* Anyone interested in sponsoring Liz should contact her directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org