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Strictly Wheels become GB’s first International Paralympic Wheelchair Dancesport competitors

Having just completed their International Paralympic Committee registration through the UK governing body, Manchester-based Gary Lyness and Paula Moulton will be the first British wheelchair dancers to compete at the sports highest level.

The pair, whose Travel Insurance is sponsored by Fish Insurance, have been undefeated in major domestic and international competition when dancing in the Amateur Latin Combi 2 class over the past three years. Their appearance in Russia will mark their debut in Top Class competition in Latin and see them competing alongside 150 athletes from over 20 countries.

The two day event, which opens on August 29th, will represent an extraordinary personal achievement for the duo who only took the sport up in 2010.It also gives them the opportunity to make their mark on the world rankings as the Continents Cup is one of a few competitions approved for rankings by the IPC, the sport’s governing body.

Speaking as she prepared for Moscow Paula said “We are very excited to be dancing for our country at this level in such a short period of time, but it’s also very daunting knowing we will be dancing against the world’s best now”.

Gary and Paula, who are members of the Strictly Wheelchair Dancing  group in Wythenshawe, Manchester, say they owe much of their success to their trainer Ray Bulpitt. Ray, who runs his own dancing school, has shown immense dedication to Strictly Wheels and has, , given a tremendous boost to Wheelchair Dancesport in the UK and proves that with professional coaching and hard work anyone can reach the sport’s highest level.

Other than facing their new challenge on the dance floor, their biggest hurdle now is to continue to compete after Moscow.  To cover the cost of traveling to competitions when competing for GB they have been reliant on fundraising and donations from the likes of Fish who have provided them with disabled travel insurance.

The company has also helped them produce a promotional video which they aim to use to attract potential sponsors to help them the costs of competing – training, costume, equipment and travel.   “We currently have no funding to get to any future competitions” explained Gary. “We are really in need of a key sponsor so we can continue to compete at this level for GB.  As an upcoming sport in the UK there is no national sponsor or funding of the kind other sport benefit, so it’s vital we secure a personal sponsor.

* If you’d like to donate to or sponsor Strictly Wheels you can email them by clicking here or call on 07757 544429

* For more details of Fish’s disabled travel insurance which protects Strictly Wheels click here.

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