Bobbie sustained a spinal cord injury whilst on holiday in Bulgaria, but once she started her rehabilitation nothing could stop her from trying new things.

Bobbie and her partner were desperate to do something together again.  “We used to ride horses together, and after the injury we found a way that meant I could still ride but I wasn’t quite up to it. Then we found dancing. It was absolutely brilliant fun, and it actually got to the stage where I represented Great Britain in Holland for ballroom dancing.”

Bobbie with her coach and medals

Bobbie won Bronze and Gold medals in the world competitions, however she struggled as she was using her everyday wheelchair.

“Dancing in a day chair is such hard work.  In ballroom dancing you repeatedly have to turn very quickly and move very fast, and day chairs just aren’t made for that.  It was quite embarrassing when I went to compete for Great Britain where a lot of the dancers had specially made dance chairs and I was in a regular day chair.  It felt as if instead of wearing a ballroom gown I was wearing a pair of wellies. That’s when I started looking for a dance chair of my own.”

She started looking for a made-to-measure dance chair but couldn't afford the expensive wheelchairs.

Bobbie, her partner and assistance dog

Whilst in the Sheffield Spinal Unit Bobbie went to one of Aspire’s talks and says, “It was absolutely brilliant, telling us all of the ways Aspire could help. My partner could come along too which she really appreciated as a lot of the time she wasn’t kept in the loop as much as she wanted. It also really helps when it comes from someone else in a chair because you know that they understand what you’re going through.”

Bobbie applied for an Aspire Grant to help fund a made-to-measure dance chair and was successful in her application. “I’ve never looked back”, Bobbie says. “When people see me dance in my new chair their jaws drop to the floor!  It’s just so much fun and Aspire really helped with that. It’s exceeded my expectations and then some, I really can’t recommend them enough!”

Bobbie has continued her dancing and is looking forward to taking part in more dancing competitions in her new dance wheelchair.

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