FROM Fulwell Sunderland
SCHOOL Leeds University
CLUB Team GB
RANKING World Champion 2018 World Masters Champion 2019 World Champion 2019
BACKGROUND Abbie started climbing when she 13 and, although she was aware that she had vision problems at this point, she wasn’t diagnosed with macular degeneration until she was almost 18. Abbie suffers from a condition called Stargardt Macular Dystrophy (Stargardt Disease), which causes the gradual loss of central vision. Her ability to perceive colour in fine detail is therefore relatively limited; however, she still has the use of her peripheral vision, and her ability to navigate like most sighted people is pretty good and considers herself to be lucky enough to remain very independent because of this. As Abbie is not sponsored, she and her parents have to fund all costs themselves which is financially challenging.
COMPETITION Abbie has been competing for the GB Paraclimbing team for almost 2 years now. Abbie won her first world championship in Innsbruck in 2018 and won the World Masters also in Austria in Imst earlier this year. Abbie retained her world title in Briancon in France in July 2019.
FUNDING The financial assistance provided by Sunderland Sports Fund and its supporters, will help Abbie to continue to compete at the top level. In her chosen sport. Abbie says, *Due to able climbing featuring in the 2020 Olympics, I’ve been able to watch the sport grow at an incredible rate. Paraclimbing is growing equally as fast and as an IPC recognised sport already, we’re hoping to meet the criteria to qualify for the 2028 Paralympics, which would be an absolute dream of mine”.