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“We certainly don’t wrap him in cotton wool, but it gives him a purpose and is a great help to his cystic fibrosis.”


Imagine you’re participating in a sport but feel limited due to the fact that you can’t keep up, you can’t breathe properly, you miss games because you’re too ill, and you mentally let yourself down because you’re not receiving the healthy benefits that come with partaking in sporting activities.

It’s a reality that many young individuals experience and for some, it is due to the condition known as Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

In Australia, a baby is born with CF every four days, with approximately one in 25 people carrying a single copy of the CF gene. (betterhealth.vic)

There are many treatments for CF with the most notable being antibiotics, a well-balanced diet, chest physiotherapy and of course, regular exercise.

With the limitations that CF provides, regular exercise can be hard to come by and many who suffer from the condition give up on trying sport. But Stephen Posselt from Perth has found salvation thanks to sport on two wheels.

At nine-years of age, Stephen had tried everything from football, to soccer and even hockey. But the contact sport and the lack of enjoyment from the youngster was hindering rather than helping his treatment, something his mother Christina was struggling with.

“Cystic Fibrosis kids can’t mix with other sufferers due to cross infection policy,” Christina explained.

“So, I had to find something to do with exercise that he enjoyed and would keep his lungs healthy and we found BMX.

“It was suggested to me through school and he absolutely loves it. He loves being in control of his bike and the freedom of not been held or tackled.

“A lot of these children have suffered traumatic experience from hospital treatment and may not like been held or confined to small spaces.”

It was all smiles for Stephen during his first day at the Wanneroo BMX Club. The club welcomed him with open arms and he was surrounded with encouragement, a great group of people and true sense of belonging.

For Christina, it was a great weight that was lifted from her shoulders.

“As a single parent, it was a big salvation,” Christina shared.

“Even though I don’t get much support from his dad, it’s so great to see Stephen looking forward to his race nights. Just to see him dressed and ready to go looking forward to his sport is such a great feeling.”

From his first time on the track, it was clear to see that bikes are Stephen’s thing and not only does he love BMX, but also mountain biking as well.

“Sport is such an important part of a CF child’s life, the more active they are the healthier they are,” Christina said.

“I think he likes the speed and the challenge of it. They have to do it exactly right otherwise he falls. But Stephen just brushes the dirt off and always gets back on the bike… he just loves it.

“We certainly don’t wrap him in cotton wool, but it gives him a purpose and is a great help to his cystic fibrosis.”

BMXA has two different types of membership for open riders – there is the 12-month option and the four month option for those who might just want to trial BMX racing. Christina knew that BMX is what Stephen wanted to do and didn’t hesitate with what option she wanted.

“We spoke to Melanie Cox from the club who was fantastic and got us on the road. She made us feel completely comfortable and we jumped straight in with the 12-month licence,” she said.

“Once we got the licence we went and got his very own DK bike thanks to the WA Cystic Fibrosis funding.”

Above all else, BMX and its culture is a salvation that Stephen has warmed to quickly and his mother can isolate the key reason.

“Nobody makes you feel like you’re different and no matter what age, everyone is very supportive from the younger ones to the older ones. He got on track and he was in love with it. I’ve never seen a bigger smile and he told me that he just wants to do this forever.

“I couldn’t recommend the sport any more than I can, and I have been trying to get other families I know who deal with CF to join.”


Are you a club looking to welcome more potential members who have a disability?

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