Kelly Gallagher swaps skis for hurley stick

Undated handout photo issued by Presseye of Paralympic gold medallist Kelly Gallagher (front centre) during Ulster GAAs wheelchair hurling project in Cookstown, Northern Ireland
Undated handout photo issued by Presseye of Paralympic gold medallist Kelly Gallagher (front centre) during Ulster GAAs wheelchair hurling project in Cookstown, Northern Ireland
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Paralympic gold medallist Kelly Gallagher swapped her skis for the hurley stick as she joined a wheelchair hurling project in Mid Ulster.

She is visually impaired and won Team GB's first Winter Paralympic gold in Sochi 2014.

Undated handout photo issued by Presseye of Paralympic gold medallist Kelly Gallagher (centre) during Ulster GAAs wheelchair hurling project in Cookstown, Northern Ireland.

Undated handout photo issued by Presseye of Paralympic gold medallist Kelly Gallagher (centre) during Ulster GAAs wheelchair hurling project in Cookstown, Northern Ireland.

She is aiming to win the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards in her own category of sporting legend but took part in a training session with the hurling team in Cookstown.

She said: "I had a really enjoyable time taking part in wheelchair hurling. It was great fun and a fantastic idea to help people with disabilities enjoy the sport of hurling.

"I was hugely impressed by the skill, strength and determination of the players and the vision and innovation of their coaches.

"National Lottery funding has been invaluable to my career and I am delighted to see it make a difference by supporting wheelchair hurling too.

"Ulster GAA's wheelchair hurling project thoroughly deserves their nomination in the Best Sports Project category of the 25th Birthday National Lottery and I would encourage people to vote for them."

She is one of 12 athletes competing in the Sporting Legend category.

National Lottery funding from Sport Northern Ireland's Active Clubs programme helped Ulster GAA employ two co-ordinators who have been responsible for developing the project which makes the sport more accessible to wheelchair users and people with disabilities.

Ulster GAA's wheelchair hurling team is up against nine other organisations bidding to be named Best Sports Project.

The organisation with the most votes will receive a £10,000 prize.

Shane McCann, Ulster GAA's active clubs co-ordinator, added: "We were delighted to welcome Kelly Gallagher to our training session.

"She proved to be a great sport and quite a good player.

"Kelly is an inspirational figure in local sport and role model for us all. Like many of our participants she has not let her disability hold her back and has reached the very pinnacle of her sport.

"There is no doubt she is a true sporting legend and we are grateful for her support for our campaign to win a 25th Birthday National Lottery Award.

"And likewise we are fully behind her as she attempts to win the Sporting Legend category. Let's hope we can do a double."