'ParaCheer helped me love dance again'
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ParaCheer helps wheelchair user 'love dance again'

A woman is aiming to start her own ParaCheer squad after the activity helped her to "love dance again" following a car crash.

Gemma Stevenson, from Alconbury, Cambridgeshire, became a full-time wheelchair user after the crash three years ago. It left her with dystonia - having painful muscle movements - on top of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which she has had from birth.

The 33-year-old said she lost her love for dance when people questioned her ability.

But after trying out for the Team England ParaCheering squad and subsequently winning gold at the World Championships, she found "love for cheer and dance again".

"I hope to show young people there are ways to adapt, there are ways to do things differently," Ms Stevenson said.

ParaCheer involves mixed teams of disabled and non-disabled athletes creating a routine that incorporates most elements of a current cheerleading routine - jumps, dance, stunts and tumbling.

  • 20 Sep 2019
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