So, as most of you know, last night I was able to announce that CP Teens UK is holding it's FIRST Charity Ball! I don't think I've ever been so excited for something! I've been itching to let it all out on the Twitter & Facebook pages, but I knew this probably wasn't wise until things started to be finalised
Sophie Christiansen OBE, Paralympic Champion, will be attending the ball as Celebrity Guest, which I'm sure you'll agree is extremely exciting! As soon as she confirmed her attendance, I really had to stop myself from tweeting 'CP TEENS UK IS HAVING A BALL & SOPHIE CHRISTIANSEN IS COMING!!!'! I was actually in a lecture at the time she confirmed & I really wanted to jump up and shout 'OH MY GOD!', but I was like 'no Ellie, not cool, you'll look like a complete weirdo'! I think it's fair to say that for the rest of that lecture, the lights were on but nobody was home - I texted Sophie & Laura (my best friends/partners in crime for the ball planning!) and I virtually drained my phone battery in the 2 hours I was at University ... but it is an iPhone, and we all know how rubbish iPhone batteries are!
All the details are as above, and the tickets are available to anyone i.e. the general public. For those of you not from North Derbyshire/South Yorkshire, the Casa Hotel is located just 10 minutes out of Sheffield. You're all invited! Tickets are £45 per person, which includes a 3 course formal dinner. Tables of 10 can also be purchased at £450. It promises to be an amazing night and has 2 aims:
1. Raise funds for CP Teens UK to enable bigger & better events, opportunities & meet-ups for teenagers & young people with Cerebral Palsy, and to raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy
2. Provide a fantastic night for many of the teenagers & young people who CP Teens UK reaches out too!
I am still lining up some special features for the night, so I will release information as and when I can. I'd just like to say a special thank you to the following people so far for their help and support so far with the Ball:
- Sheffield United Football Club
- Sheffield Wednesday Football Club
- Sheffield Children's Hospital
- Yorkshire Wildlife Park
- Yo! Sushi Meadowhall
- Nandos UK
Sophie Christiansen OBE, Paralympic Champion, Celebrity Guest at the CP Teens UK Ball!
Last week, I went to a Sports Conference at my University and we were able to choose what workshops we went to. So, no surpises, I went for the workshops on disability sport. One of the workshop speakers made me laugh - obviously they didn't know I was in the room but they said "obviously you'll never get a CP Athlete confined to a wheelchair to do throwing in Athletics!" ... haha, all the people in my classification have severe Cerebral Palsy, are confined to wheelchairs (apart from me, never understood my classification!) and virtually all of them throw the Club further than me! I was sat there like 'clearly not heard of seated throws, Stephen Miller or Gemma Prescott!'.
Just on the wheelchair bit, at competitions I always like to mess with people's heads! All the F32's (my classification) line up in their wheelchairs, and when it's each person's turn to enter the throwing cage, they'll be carried to their throwing frame & the competition area. When my name is called, I stand up and leave my wheelchair behind, and you can literally see the crowd like going 'well, that was a plot twist'! Some people ask me 'how is it a fair competition if you can walk and the other's can't?'. Well, it is a 'seated throw', and when we are all sat down, we are all affected by CP in the same way. We all have little or no hand control and unwanted movements. If I was to be in a classification where I could compete stood up (F34 upwards) I would be at a disadvantage as these athletes have good hand control, good grip and decent trunk control, and they can coordinate these all at once! I'd love there to be a ambulant F32 category, but that simply wouldn't happen as there aren't enough athletes. At virtually every hospital appointment I've been to, I've been reminded how 'weird it is that I can walk' ... okay then?! Apparently, less than 1 in 4 people with my type of Cerebral Palsy can walk, which I suppose reflects in the Athletics classification system.
Anyway, back to the Conference! I actually really enjoyed it, and the different things I learnt I can apply to the sports events I'm planning for you and CP Teens UK this year. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, CP Teens UK and CP Sport have teamed up and we're currently trying to find some venues to bring you some lovely sporty things! One of the workshops talked about the Paralympic Legacy and it started with how people with disabilities historically used to be treated awfully and people wouldn't get away with it now ... *cough cough* what about that vile woman on Twitter just before New Year (see previous blog post)?!
So, on Sunday, I with Sophie, Laura & Laura (I have 2 best friends called Laura, it gets very confusing!) are heading out with the first CP Teens UK stall! We'll be at the EIS, Sheffield at the British Athletics Para-Intro Day. I'll be wearing 2 'hats' on Sunday, my 'CP Teens UK hat' and my 'Athlete hat'. The day is for young people who have registered an interest in getting involved in disability athletics, so I'll be there like 'Athletics is fun! ... also, visit my website!' haha. We have CP Teens UK banners, bunting, leaflets etc. ... you name, it we've got it! The aim of the stall is to reach out to even more people to offer support, friendships & opportunities.
And finally, on Sunday, we got a brand new puppy, which is testing my balance on every level! She moves incredibly fast, and she is tiny so not falling over her is virtually impossible, but when you're balance is already on the wobbly side you thank your lucky stars each time you successfully cross a room! She is adorable, but puppies were definitely not meant for people with Cerebral Palsy, I've lost count of the number of times she's made me jump and that I've nearly dropped her!