Two incredible athletes visit Treloar’s
Nerys Pearce is a veteran army medic, Commonwealth Games athlete and the holder of 9 British and World records in indoor rowing, the 300 mile triathlon and the 3000 mile hand cycle across America. She has won medals in track and field, hand cycling, swimming, basketball and powerlifting.
Kylie Grimes is a triple Paralympian athlete who competed in Wheelchair Rugby in the 2012 London Games before switching to athletics for the 2016 Games in Rio. Returning to Wheelchair Rugby for the 2020/21 Games in Tokyo, she made her childhood dreams come true by winning the gold medal.
Kylie and Nerys came to Treloar’s to inspire our students to get active in their wheelchairs. Their visit was organised through Sport for Schools whose mission is to motivate and inspire kids to get active. The session started with Nerys leading circuit training for everyone. Moving round the hall, the class groups did air punches, arm press ups, leg raises and wheelchair star jumps.
Following the circuits, once everyone was awake, Kylie took to the floor and talked to our students about her journey to Paralympic Gold, sharing photos and films of wheelchair rugby in action.
As a child, she always dreamed of competing for her country as a show jumper, but everything changed for her after a life-changing spinal injury. After six months in hospital, she celebrated her recovery by setting herself a challenge. Accompanied by her sister, aged just 18, she set out on a 9-day, 450 km hand cycle challenge from Vietnam to Cambodia.
On her return, she discovered wheelchair rugby, joined a club and started to train three times a week. The hard work paid off and aged just 23, she competed in the 2012 London Paralympic Games, coming fifth with her team.
In 2016 for the Rio Games, she switched to athletics and took part in the club throw finishing fourth overall. Returning to her rugby team for the Tokyo 2020/2021 Games, her childhood dreams came true when her team won the gold medal.
If that wasn’t enough, this week she’s in Denmark, competing in the World Championships and she hopes to compete again for her country at the 2024 Paris Games.
Treloar’s students were invited to ask questions and were keen to find out just how fast the wheelchairs can go in rugby; they also asked about who inspired Kylie. Kylie’s sporting hero is Serena Williams, but her true inspiration was her Grampy who fought for his country. Kylie showed off her medal collection, posed for photos and let the students try on her medals.
Kylie and Nerys encouraged Treloar’s students to look for wheelchair accessible sports clubs and join in. Kylie said:
Sport has saved my life. My experiences since 2006—and particularly my journey back to sport, teamwork, and a strong relationship with my body—have helped me to overcome many obstacles in my life, and sharing the lessons I’ve learned to help motivate and inspire others is a huge honour.