Won the Gold Medal on the Vault at the Gymnastics Super Series Competition During the Summer
“It is something I feel has been a huge part in keeping me well. What I love about gymnastics and my club is that my coaches are very understanding, they push me as much as I can be pushed, but if I am feeling sick or tired they will let me go out, have a drink, and then let me come back in when I am ready.
Sometimes I get out of breath or if I am getting sick I can be hot and tired, but I always try and finish the session -even if I just sit and do some stretches. I am lucky that I have not been so sick that I could not commit myself to a sport like gymnastics, I make 70% of my training sessions. Sometimes I am just too tired and other times I am unwell. Although I do not give up, because I love the sport.
I am strong and healthy as a result of doing it. I also love the social aspect. Gymnastics can be physically demanding for flexibility and stamina. I feel doing the sport has given me great strength and muscle strength which has helped to keep me well.
I also play rugby, and again I have been very lucky to have extremely supportive coaches who mind me. Particularly if the weather is bad, they will text my mum and say "don’t bring Niamh to training tonight the weather is too bad". This means a lot because it shows that they care and are trying to help keep me well enough to play my matches - which is very important to me because I love match day!
I feel sometimes parents of kids with any illness are afraid to push them or allow them to challenge themselves. Sometimes unfortunately if the child is sick enough the parents are right to do this. But if it is possible, all children (especially those with CF) should do sports. Swimming, gymnastics, whatever it is the child likes, because from experience I can definitely say that sport and exercise in general play a huge role in keeping me well.”
Exercise is absolutely imperative to PWCF like Niamh, to keep themselves healthy and keep the lung function up. CFI provide exercise grants to PWCF to enable them to access gym memberships and expensive equipment such as treadmills. We want to thank our donors and fundraisers who enable us to provide these important grants.