Hastings girl takes part in inaugural wheelchair motocross event

Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174421001
Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174421001

A six-year-old Hastings girl with spina bifida took part in an inaugural wheelchair motocross event last weekend.

Summer Finlay, who turns seven next week, is paralysed from the chest down – but this has never stopped her taking on any challenges that come her way.

Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174315001

Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174315001

Earlier this month, she became the first ever person to complete the Eastbourne Half Marathon in a wheelchair. And on Sunday (March 24), she travelled to Adrenaline Alley skate park in Corby to take part in WCMX Jam 2019.

The event draws inspiration from skateboarding and dirt biking and centres around doing tricks in a wheelchair.

To start with, the participants were taken on a warm-up before getting stuck in to a two-minute session on the ramps.

Summer’s father, Shaun Finlay, said: “She loved it and had a beaming smile the whole way through. She even wants to get a proper skate chair now!”

Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174446001

Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174446001

For Shaun, one of the main positives from the event was the inclusivity – with every participant in a wheelchair, no one was made to feel left out.

He added: “Events like these are important for disability awareness. A wheelchair is just a tool and people shouldn’t let it hold them back. People in wheelchairs can do these things.”

Lily Rice, women’s silver medallist at the WCMX World Championships in 2018, was also present at the event.

Shaun believes Lily, who is also thought to be the first European woman to complete a backflip in a wheelchair, is crucial to the growth of WCMX.

Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174434001

Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174434001

“Lily Rice is a massive inspiration for these people, including Summer. It’s important for UK sport too. Hopefully, events like these can produce the next generation of GB Paralympians.”

To follow Summer’s progress, follow her social media pages – Facebook.com/summers.Story1, Instagram.com/summers.story1, or Twitter.com/summerstory1.

Words by Harry Trend.

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Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174358001

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Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174326001

Summer Finlay at WCMX Jam 2019. SUS-190325-174326001