Raquel began competing in the regional athletics championships for the Disabled at the age of 12. She participated in both track and field events until she was 15, collecting a total of 11 medals; 7 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze. Track events included the 100 meters and the 4 x 4 hundred meters relay, in which she and her team mates took home gold.
Other events included the javelin where she achieved gold 2 years in a row, and gained silver for achieving the second highest time in a wheelchair slalom event.
“I am a very sporty person and feel very proud to achieve all that I have in life so far. I think that’s where my passion to want to challenge myself comes from,” Raquel says. “I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to compete, and it’s something I will always look back on as a real personal achievement”.
Raquel also began horse riding from a young age, collecting rosettes from entering several gymkhanas. “I love horse riding and hope to start it up again in the future as I miss it,” she says.
“I thrive on challenges. If someone tells to me I am unable to do something, it makes me more determined to prove them wrong. In my experience, some people tend to patronise those who have disabilities and wrap them up in cotton wool instead of embracing new ideas and pushing the boundaries. I believe that showing these people something that introduces the importance of creativity and challenges certain stereotypes is the way forward. I am dedicated to my work, and whenever I have an idea I try to introduce people to the concept in the hope that they will wish to work with it.
“Everyone can achieve their own individual goals to a certain degree. I try not to dismiss ideas because for every person who may think something is impossible, there will be someone somewhere who believes it’s worth trying”.