Sporty teenager Sophie Carrigill has received a major boost towards her dream of playing in the 2016 Paralympic Games.
The Wakefield Girls’ High School student has already represented her country as a member of the Standard Life GB Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Squad.
And now she has been awarded a scholarship to help with funding as she aims to get to Rio 2016.
The 18-year-old was left paralysed from the waist down after a horrific car crash in America in 2010.
She only took up wheelchair basketball 18 months ago and now plays for Leeds Spiders.
Sophie, of West Ardsley, said: “I felt completely shocked when I received the scholarship. I didn’t expect anything like it. It’s a great honour.
“Having the ICAP Beckwith Scholarship will play a massive part in my basketball progress. I’ll be able to fund any spares that I need, like tyres and straps for my chair.
“Also it will support me to have the best chance at success in my final A level exams and also at the start of university so I am able to continue playing wheelchair basketball.
“One of my short-term aims is to be selected for the Europeans Championships which are held in Germany at the end of June. I am training hard for this and hoping to be selected to represent Great Britain. A long-term aim of mine is definitely to compete in a Paralympics, maybe Rio.”
The ICAP Beckwith Scholarship, delivered by Youth Sport Trust, supports junior athletes, aged 14 to 19, with vital financial support towards training, equipment, competitions, coaching and medical costs.
Sophie was nominated by her sport’s national governing body after a successful year representing Leeds Spiders and winning a silver medal with the Yorkshire U19 team at the junior championships.
She also competed in Belgium for the GB team, the Coyotes, in the 2013 Euro League.
Last summer the A level student carried the Olympic torch through Dewsbury.