It's Gemma's sheer determination and will to succeed, despite suffering from a condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy(RSD). The official definition is as follows: Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) involves a malfunction of the nervous system that causes pain (often diffuse, intense and unrelenting) and related sensory abnormalities. There may also be abnormal blood flow and sweating in the affected area, problems with movement of the muscles and changes in the structure of the tissues ('trophic' changes).
Gemma is always in excruciating pain and unable to walk, but her story is inspiring! In terms of her achievements in the last three years, despite being on crutches, are as follows:
? Over 900 hours of sports volunteering.
? Awarded the Step Into Sport Double Gold Award for doing over 400 hours of sports volunteering in a year.
? Platinum Ambassador for Sport
? Coach/Manage Hockey and Athletics Teams
? Officiate Athletics
? Given speeches about the importance of Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Values(both their importance/relevance in sport and daily life) in her Youth Ambassador role.
? Was a UK Athletics member of staff at the UK Young Leaders Camp last year and have been asked to return this Summer.
? Volunteered at a range of events from school festivals to the UK School Games and World Wheelchair Basketball Championships.
Finally, realising that her nervous system condition is both permanent and progressive and that she won't be able to function now without crutches, she took up Wheelchair Basketball in October and has been selected to play for the U25 Welsh Wheelchair Basketball Team.
I have worked with Gemma when she has done her volunteering, most recently at our Bucks Youth games. She is always concerned with creating the best experience for others and maintains a great sense of humour even through her most difficult times. This is why I believe she would be able to honour the Torchbearer role and act as a ch