3 of Altrincham’s Paralympic Stars

August 29, 2012 8:59 am

The opening celebrations of the Paralympics have started in London but in Altrincham we have our own reason to celebrate the Paralympics as 3 of our own Altrincham residents are competing in the games.

The Paralympics were a British concept that started after World War 2 where many people where injured in the war from combat and bombings, and 2012 marks the homecoming of the Paralympic games. Our Paralympic athletes have often done very well in the games, and came second in the table at the Beijing games behind hosts, China. The build up for the Paralympic games has never been more exciting, with channel 4′s excellent emotive advertising on TV, online and billboards and sponsors Sainsbury’s echoing the message of the Paralympics being a competition for really extraordinary people.

So this is all happening in London, why should Altrincham be bothered? Well Altrincham can be proud to support at least 3 extraordinary competitors in the Paralympic games, so who are they?

Neil Fachie, Para Cycling B Sprint / B 1km Time Trial

Neil Fachie lives in Altrincham

Neil Fachie, is originally from Aberdeen but like many people has chosen to live in Altrincham, most likely for its beautiful scenery, fantastic community and great connectivity, all ideal for an athlete who may need to get to and from training grounds and events.

Neil Fachie, originally competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics on the athletics track, but he missed out on the 100 metres and 200 metres final and after some reflection decided to look at other events. This was a good option for Neil as shortly after the Paralympics he competed at the Manchester Velodrome in the 2009 BT Paralympic World Cup where he secured a silver medal and his place in the Para Cycling team.

Neil now trains, just a stones throw away from Altrincham, at the National Cycling Centre, Manchester. Neil has never let his disability of a congenital eye condition, retinitis pigmentosa stop him as he has achieved both athletically and academically earning a BsC in Physics and was also awarded Aberdeen’s sports personality of the year in 2009.


Lora Turnham, Para Cycling B Sprint

Lora Turnham lives in Altrincham

Lora Turnham is Neil Fachie’s cycling partner for the B Sprint and although she is from Liverpool she lives and enjoys Altrincham, Lora is making her Paralympic debut at London 2012, but has a good track record of successes winning her first World Championship medal after only being on the bike for six weeks, since then nothing has stopped her from competing as she won a silver medal at Pursuit at the 2011 World Championships.

Lora has come from a family of sports people and in her youth competed in cross country. Her brothers Roy and Mark, represented England in VI Cricket and Roy is also a member of the ParalympicsGB 5-a-side Football team that will compete this year in London.

Lora has a visual impairment but like all the competitors in the Paralympics this has never stopped her from achieving or having dreams and goals, Lora graduated with a degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Birmingham and she hopes to become a paediatric physiotherapist.

Laurie Wiliams, Wheelchair Basketball

Laurie Williams Altrincham

Laurie Williams is an ex student of Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, and we are sure her old school mates in Altrincham will be cheering her on as she goes forward to represent Great Britain in Wheelchair basketball. She suffered heartache at the Beijing Paralympics as the Basketball team narrowly missed out on a podium position but 4 years later and a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication and training and she is back with her team to hopefully secure a medal and victory.

The pride of Altrincham, Laurie, Williams, was only 17 when she competed at Beijing, but now 4 years later she is more experienced, more mature and more determined to succeed. Laurie has been nicknamed, ‘The Whippet’ due to her speed and agility  around the basketball court and since she has been included as part of the main team (she was a reserve at Beijing) has helped secure medals with her team in the Eurpoean Championships 2009 and 2011 Bronze medals and a Gold in the 2001 BT Paralympic World Cup.


Altrincham has a lot to be proud of, but the extraordinary achievements of these three are worth our support, you can also watch Altrincham resident Kathy Smedley carry the Paralympic torch later tonight in the opening ceremony.

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