This week we heard from Ella Beaumont, formerly a member of the Team GB wheelchair basketball team and now a producer of wheelchair-fit videos and a researcher for TV production company Whisper.
Ella has been paralysed from the chest down since birth but her ‘joie de vivre’ is inspirational. She explained how she had been encouraged by her parents to get involved with something active despite her disability. Wheelchair basketball was purely a leisure activity for her and some friends until she was spotted by a coach from the GB team who invited her to come along to a training session. This lead to her representing Great Britain at the World Championships in Canada and the European Championships in Germany amongst other events. She was also one of the torch bearers for the London Olympics in 2012.
At the same time, she was undertaking a Sports Coaching Science with Disability Studies degree at the University of Worcester and ultimately decided to focus on her studies rather than competing. On completing the degree she spent time coaching at her local club but has also moved into a career in television production, which has enabled her to travel around the world to events such as the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.
When the UK was put into lockdown in March 2020, Ella was disappointed to find out that there was very little available online for disabled people looking to maintain their fitness. So she launched her own YouTube channel and started making her own ‘Wheelchair Workouts’. These have proved extremely popular and lead to her featuring on BBC Newsbeat as well as being approached by disability charities and gyms from around the country.
On behalf of the club, Rotarian Ro Clark proposed a vote of thanks to Ella for a really uplifting talk and we hope that she will be able to come down and see us in person when we are all able to meet up again in the future.