Pembs Para swimmer Lily to represent Wales at Commonwealth Games 2022

By Paul Evans   |   Content editor   |
Friday 27th May 2022 9:00 am
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Lily Rice
(lily rice_wcmx on Instagram )

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Commonwealth Games Wales are pleased to announce that eleven athletes have qualified to represent Wales in the Para Swimming, Table Tennis, Triathlon, and the IV Lawn Bowls competitions at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

One of those that will represent Wales in the Para Swimming event is Manorbier’s Lily Rice after qualifying in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S8.

Lily a pupil at Tenby’s Greenhill School who has enjoyed sporting success in recent years by becoming a world champion of wheelchair motocross, winning the Women’s WCMX World Championships in 2019 - has a condition called Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, which limits her use of her legs, her muscle power and coordination.

She enjoys sports, but found participation difficult until she started swimming with Tenby Dolphins when she was nine and a half, and quickly progressed through Pembrokeshire Puffins, where she was highlighted for potential and picked up by the Welsh Disability Development Squad.

Lily gained further recognition in 2019 for her sporting efforts when she scooped the ‘Young Sportswoman of the Year’ award at the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year presentations.

She was the subject of a recent BBC1 programme as part of the station’s ‘Our Lives’ series, documenting her status as a wheelchair sport superstar, after the teenager became the first person in Britain to land a wheelchair backflip!

“I want to inspire people using my quote ‘you can do anything you want to, you just have to put your mind to it or do it differently’ and my hashtag #PuttingTheAbilityIntoDisability,” said Lily.

Para Swimming at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, will take place at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, and Lily will be joined by three other athletes who have qualified - Dylan Broom, Rebecca Lewis and Meghan Willis.

Ross Nicholas, Swim Wales National Performance Director said: “We are extremely proud of the para swimmers who have gained qualification for the Commonwealth Games. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of the swimmers and their coaching teams.

“To see four para swimmers coming from three of our Performance Clubs really shows the depth and quality within our Performance Club network, and we can’t wait to see them race in Birmingham this summer.

“We have put considerable time and resource into developing Para Swimming nationally and we look forward to supporting these swimmers as part of the wider team representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games.”

Matt Kendrick, Swim Wales National Para Pathway Manager added: “This is a fantastic achievement for Dylan Broom, Meghan Willis, Lily Rice and Rebecca Lewis who will represent Wales in Birmingham at the Commonwealth Games.

“We have seen a period of significant growth in para swimming nationally and we are incredibly proud to have representation across multiple classifications and multiple events at the Games this summer.

“I want to recognise and give thanks to the Performance Club coaches working with our qualified para swimmers; Nick Russell (Pembrokeshire County Swimming), Keith Morgan (Rhondda Cynon Taf Performance Swim Squad) and Ian Rosser (Torfaen Dolphins) who have all truly embraced and driven an inclusive high-performance culture within their respective club programmes.

“I also want to take the opportunity to recognise the outstanding work that our Lead Para Swimming Coach, Aled Davies, has done in getting our para swimmers into this position.”

Today’s announcement means 23 athletes have now been named for Team Wales, with the remaining qualified and selected athletes being announced in the coming weeks.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from July 28 until August 8, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city, the region, and its people on the global stage.

Birmingham 2022 will have the largest Para-sport inclusion in history, and will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022.

Find out more at www.birmingham2022.com

You can follow the Team Wales journey into Birmingham 2022 across their social media channels: Teamwales.cymru / @TeamWales / #TeamWales / #TîmCymru

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