TIMOTHY IS PUSH­ING THE LIM­ITS OF PER­CEP­TION

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - BRI­ANNA MOR­RIS-GRANT bri­anna.mor­ris-grant@news.com.au

TIMOTHY Lach­lan made his­tory as the first Aus­tralian to land a wheel­chair back­flip and now he wants oth­ers to em­brace the ac­tion sport of Wheel­chair Mo­tocross.

A com­bi­na­tion of low mus­cle tone and joint is­sues means Mr Lach­lan has used crutches and a wheel­chair from the age of 14.

Now the 21-year-old from Labrador trav­els the world to show­case his skills.But he in­sists the nerves that come with his death-de­fy­ing stunts and ex­treme skat­ing are “all part of the fun”.

“I think for me I’m more scared of do­ing a 3.5m drop than I am of do­ing a back­flip, be­cause with the drop I know it’s go­ing to hurt a lot more if you stack it at the top,” he said.

“It’s al­ways just try­ing to push past that fear be­cause it seems like your body is try­ing to hold you back, you have to men­tally push your­self through it.”

In be­tween study­ing for a de­gree in oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy Mr Lach­lan is now pre­par­ing to launch his not­for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, WCMX and Adap­tive Skate Aus­tralia. It will host skat­ing work­shops and demon­sta­tions for people with dis­abil­i­ties around Aus­tralia, start­ing on the Cen­tral Coast next week.

“The main goal is to get people with dis­abil­i­ties into skate parks,” he said.

“Wheel­chair skat­ing has a lot of trans­fer­able skills for mo­bil­ity, it lets me go up and down stairs, kerbs, stuff you gen­er­ally don’t think wheel­chairs can do.

“So I want it to be not just a sport but some­thing that im­proves people’s lives.”

Mr Lach­lan said the most im­por­tant thing was chang­ing the way the com­mu­nity views wheel­chair users and other dis­abil­i­ties.

“At the mo­ment in so­ci­ety ei­ther people in wheel­chairs are some­thing to be looked at like they’re odd or dif­fer­ent ... or people that are able-bod­ied tend to look at people with dis­abil­i­ties for in­spi­ra­tion to make them­selves feel bet­ter,” he said.

“I’m aim­ing to make it so people with dis­abil­i­ties are seen as equal and it’s not so much that pity go­ing on, it’s more ‘look at what you can do, it’s great that you can do that’.”

Wheel­chair ath­lete and ad­vo­cate Timothy Lach­lan: Wheel­chair skat­ing has a lot of trans­fer­able skills for mo­bil­ity, it lets me go up and down stairs, kerbs, stuff you gen­er­ally don’t think wheel­chairs can do.

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