Laura on road to changing coach James' life with brave challenge

Picture of sports loving young woman in football kit

Getting there - Laura Cartmill - Credit: Submitted

Brixham  sports lover Laura Cartmill is slowly but surely getting there with a monster fund-raising challenge. 

She is on a mission to cover 5,000 miles in 500 days to raise money for a prosthetic leg for her football coach James Lyon. 

The winter weather and the Lockdowns haven’t helped but Laura is determined to reach her goal and is hoping people will support her special appeal. 

Laura has her own challenges – she was born with a rare eye condition which means she has no iris in either eye, making them extremely sensitive to light. She also lives with autism. 

She says: "I do 10 miles every day. My challenge started back on August 1, 2020 and will finish on December 14, 2021.” 

At the time of writing she had completed 2,080 miles and said: “So far my quickest time I have done my 10 miles a day is three and two minutes. 

“I have done it in all weathers in the first month of my challenge it was very warm. Then it was very wet and windy and we have had lockdowns which has made it difficult. 

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“But I am really enjoying this challenge. It is the most incredible thing I have done. It has been amazing to support my football coach.” 

She added: “A prosthetic leg James could use all day will change his life."

Pre-Covid Laura has played disability football with the Tavistock Specials In a league called Devon Ability Counts which is for people of different disabilities. She has also trained with the Newton Abbot Soccability team –they both use bright orange footballs to help Laura. 

She says: “I have really enjoyed being with these clubs. They are really helpful. I am doing a football coaching course in the future and possibly will be helping out with the juniors in training with Newton Abbot Soccability."

She has known James for nine years and said: “We we won the league we played in. Everyone called us the dream team. He always has encouraged me to do coaching. We are so comfortable around each other as both of us have a different impairment. 

“It would mean the world to me if I can help him to reach his target."

For details of the fund-raising, which has a target of £15,000, go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/james-lyon