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Former Newlands Girls School student fundraising to compete for GB at World Paraclimbing championships

Former Newlands Girls School student Leanora Volpe is hard at training and hoping to compete at the forthcoming World Paraclimbing Championships for Great Britain.

The 26-year-old, who has developed a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a genetic tissue disorder which causes her joints, ligaments, skin and organs to become fragile and unstable, has been selected to compete for her country. She has also developed ataxia which, overtime, means she is slowing losing her balance and coordination.

However, she’s now fundraising for travel and training expenses to ensure she makes it to the competition in Briancon, France in July.

Climbing is something that’s helped the Leanora come to terms with her disability.

Last year she competed in the national paraclimbing championships, taking second place in her category despite breaking her wrist just two weeks before the finals, and earned her place in the GB Climbing team.

“I’m prone to joint dislocations and injuries and live with chronic pain and I took up climbing as a way to get fitter and stronger again after being unwell for so long,” said Leanora.

“After the national finals I decided to go for the GB Paraclimbing team and I trained every day through the winter, even climbing with one arm in a plaster cast because I was determined nothing would hold me back from my goal.

“Thankfully it paid off and in March I was selected to join the GB Paraclimbing team, to join an incredibly talented group of athletes and hoping to compete on the world stage this summer.

“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to represent my country in the sport that gave me my life back, however we are self-funded, and although I work full time, I am training intensively and so need regular specialist physiotherapy and other treatment for injuries and pain, as well as regular coaching sessions.

“If I reach my fundraising goal it will help me pay for the travel and accommodation for competitions all over the UK and abroad, and make the absolute most of my hard work as a member of the GB team.”

Leanora has set up a page to help her reach her fundraising target. Click here to visit the page.

The IFSC paraclimbing world championships take place in Briancon, France, from July 16-17

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