Amanda Shirtcliffe - Para Dressage for Team GBR: Dystonia and Flexyfoot
With the Paralympic games looking more promising with each passing day, we got in touch with one of our Team GBR athletes, Amanda Shirtcliffe who is a Para dressage rider for team GB. We asked Amanda to tell us a little bit about herself, her challenges with Dystonia and how Flexyfoot has impacted her life. Here is what Amanda had to say:
I was diagnosed in 2012 with Dystonia. Dystonia is an incurable, neurological movement disorder that causes uncontrollable and usually incredibly painful muscle spasms caused by incorrect signals from the brain. In some cases it can affect the whole body or just one limb. With me, both of my legs and my right arm are affected. I mostly use a wheelchair but I am able to stand and walk short distances using crutches.
My ultimate goal is to represent Team GBR at a Paralympic, Europeans or World games (ideally all three would be great!). Covid has pretty much scuppered all of our international competitions since 2020, and as the Tokyo Paralympics look set to go ahead I’m hopeful that we can get back out competing, at least at National level, relatively soon.
Planning is key. Myself and my horses have a well mapped out training schedule; of course it doesn’t always run smoothly. Horses get injured and my hospital appointments and treatments often throw a spanner in the works, so it’s advisable to have a Plan B, or in my case C & D!
I’m currently recovering from breaking my tibia and fibula in several places. I had major surgery to save and repair my leg which thankfully seems to have been a success. The past few months have been spent mostly in physio and rehabilitation but I’m itching to get back in the saddle, so fingers crossed the surgeon gives me the go ahead soon!
What made you want to try Flexyfoot and how did you hear about us?
Flexyfoot was recommended to me by a friend. I was struggling to prevent my crutches from slipping and was really cautious when walking with them. Since discovering the Flexyfoot ferrules I now feel much more confident on my crutches and can swing around like Tarzan!
Which Flexyfoot product was it you used?
I use the shock absorbing ferrules, they’re an absolute game changer for anyone who uses crutches.
How likely is it that you would recommend Flexyfoot to a friend or fellow athlete?
What would you say to someone who asked about Flexyfoot?
Try them, you won’t regret it!
What are some unique or unusual ways/environments you used Flexyfoot in your everyday life?
As a horse rider I need to be secure when standing and/or walking across varying terrain and surfaces. The training and competition arenas are particularly challenging to stand on as they are predominantly a sand and rubber surface, the Flexyfoot ferrules cope surprising well.
What, if anything, changed for you after you started using Flexyfoot?
I was able to feel more secure when using my crutches. The grip the shock absorbing ferrules provide is far superior to any other crutch ferrules and provides excellent stability.
Would you buy Flexyfoot in the future?
Absolutely. They’re the only ferrules I use.
Amanda was a great person to connect with. She's certainly not had it easy this past year with her injuries, but hopefully she's on the road to recovery and, Covid pending, we can look forward to supporting Amanda at the Paralympic games later this year!