SOUTHPORT’S Paralympian swimming sensation Lizzie Simpkin has become a patron at disabled kids’ charity The Legacy Rainbow House.
The 15-year-old, tipped to star at the 2012 Paralympics in London, was born with the lower part of her left arm missing, but has overcome her disability to become one of the UK’s top swimmers.
Lizzie, currently studying for her GCSEs at Christ the King High School, made her GB debut at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, finishing a fantastic fifth in the 100m backstroke and sixth in the 100m butterfly.
And last year she won silver in the 100m backstroke and bronze in the 100m butterfly at the European Championships in Iceland before helping the GB relay team win gold and break the world record in the 4x100m medley at the IPC Short Course World Championships in Rio de Janeiro.
Lizzie, recently listed as one of “ten to watch” for London 2012 by the Telegraph newspaper, says she hopes her involvement with the Mawdesley-based charity will inspire other youngsters into believing that “anything is possible”.
She said: “I want to be someone people with disabilities can look to do the best they can. I want to be able to show them that anything’s possible.
“Sometimes I was told I can’t do something, but then I’ve gone on to do it. I want to show people that it’s possible to do that.
“I’m looking forward to being a patron for Rainbow House, so I can show disabilities do not build boundaries.
“With help and dedication we can climb obstacles and succeed more than anyone expects.”
Joe Mawdsley, the charity’s CEO and founder, said Lizzie was the ideal role model for disabled children.
She said: “She’s determined, she’s focused and she’s extremely successful, and she’s still only 15!
“She’s inspired me and if our young people can have the opportunity to learn from a young person who has achieved what she has then they can be inspired too.
“I don’t think she realises how inspirational she is, but she’s got so much to offer.
“As a patron of our charity she will be a great role model for the children here and an ambassador for disability.
“She clearly demonstrates that disability is not a barrier to success.”
Pic from Facebook