At the National Paralympic Heritage Trust we are lucky to have some great volunteers who help us in the work we do. This volunteer story is about Chloe Hixson, a recent history graduate, Chloe joined us as an Access Assessor and more recently as a Virtual Volunteer. She will join a small team of volunteers who will be able to help us refine our brand new website and help us collect new stories and heritage surrounding the British Paralympic Movement and disability sport. Chloe is no stranger to para sport having played Boccia as a young person, in fact she was selected for the GB Boccia team in April 2006. There came a time when she had to make the tough decision to choose between following a Paralympic Boccia career or academia.

“The decision to leave para-sport was a difficult one, not only because I was becoming more and more confident in myself, but because I became active in Boccia at a time when I was coming to terms with the fact that I was going to have to deal with issues stemming from my disability all my life. I’d  had my disability since birth, but to some extent I thought subconsciously that some surgery would fix it and that I'd be able to do a huge amount more, physically. Being involved with Boccia helped me come to terms, in a very real sense, with it and helped me understand that I wasn't as limited as my naive mind thought I was, nor as limited as society would have me believe."

It was particularly hard to give up Boccia when I was mainstreamed for my A-levels and had less support.  I believe if I’d gone to a mainstream school from the outset I may not have discovered Boccia, or even para-sport at all.