I caught up with Lily at her local skatepark in Haverfordwest. ———————————————————————-
So Lily, start off by telling us how you got into WCMX?
So, I got into WCMX about a year ago. When I was younger I would come up to the skatepark with my Dad and just try to roll around on my board. I was born with my condition, but it worsened as I got older, so it meant I couldn’t continue to skate.
I saw a YouTube video of Aaron ‘Wheelz’ Fotheringham riding Bob Burnquist’s Dreamland in a wheelchair and I thought, that is so cool, I want to do that!
I met Wheelz when he toured the UK with Nitro Circus, we stayed in touch and he donated me one of his old chairs, the moment I got it, I never looked back.
I knew of the World Championships, I had watched them in Texas last year, and from seeing that I just wanted to go. My Dad told me, if you stick at it we’ll go next year, but I didn’t really believe him.
Finding out that I had gained entry was incredible and the fact that it had moved to California this year was just as exciting.
Tell us a bit about California, it looked like an amazing event and location.
California was such a great opportunity for me. I got to meet and make friends with riders from all over the world. I had a couple of training sessions at Venice Beach before going to the contest venue in Fontana. The skatepark there is different to the parks in the UK because it’s totally accessible for people in wheel chairs. There are parts in all the ramps that allow you to power out of the bowls. In the womens event there was two previous world champs and a local girl who shreds called Alyssa Montenegro. The heat got to me a bit, but I did good enough to make the finals. In the finals I was so happy! I didn’t fault on either of my runs. My goal was to get top 5 and I never really expected to get second. Totally stoked!!!
So how long did it take for you to get comfortable with riding in a skatepark?
So I built up from Pembroke skatepark, which is a really small park, and once I had dropped from all the ramps there, I would come up to this skatepark really early in the morning so that there was no one else around. After time I got more confident about riding around others, and now I’m just family at the skatepark with everyone else who skates.
When I used to show up to the park I would get everyone just stopping and watching me, like, ‘What’s a wheelchair doing in the park?’, but now they’re like, ‘it’s just Lily!’ visiting other skateparks.
Have you been able to travel much with WCMX so far?
So, apart from California, I went to Copenhagen a few months back and rode in a WCMX event called the Toyota Wheels Park Project. It was amazing, I got to meet loads of other riders from all over the world. Otherwise, I’m always travelling around the UK visiting other skateparks.
A big aspect of skateboarding is making video edits, have you had much chance to film anything?
I’ve done a few videos, one video got shared a lot last year and ended up getting over 2 million views which was mind blowing! I just like to post videos up on my Instagram, but I want to start filming a street edit now I’m back from California.