Gold medal victory spurs on Addingham athlete Savannah, 10

Ilkley Gazette: Savannah Troughton-Webb proudly displaying her medals Savannah Troughton-Webb proudly displaying her medals

A ten-year-old Addingham girl is celebrating after returning from the Dwarf Sports Association UK competition with a haul of medals.

Savannah Troughton-Webb, a pupil at Addingham Primary School, received a gold for athletics (throwing a cricket ball), and bronze for hockey, basketball and football. She also swam 25 metres, coming fourth in her heat, completing a full length of the pool without help for the first time.

The games, held in Birmingham, are organised by The Dwarf Sports Association UK, whose aim is to make sports accessible and fun for all people of restricted growth. The charity’s patrons are famous British Paralympian swimmers Ellie Simmonds and Matthew Whorwood.

Savannah has a condition called Achondroplasia, which is one of the most common forms of short limb dwarfism and means she will grow to around four foot tall.

When she is doing sports at school she struggles to keep up with her peers, because she tires easily and suffers pain, which means she uses a wheelchair, but at the games she is competing on a level playing field.

Her late mum Louise Troughton-Webb, her grandma and granddad, all had the condition, and her late mum passed away from spinal stenosis aged just 27 in 2008.

Since then Savannah, and her brother Harvey, aged seven, have been brought up by their mum Michelle Troughton-Webb, who was in a relationship with Louise. Michelle also has an older daughter, Natalie, 23.

Michelle said: “Savannah started attending the games when she was just two, as her mum Louise had taken part. She absolutely loves competing with people at her own level. She has loads of friends and meets up with them every year and it is a chance for me to meet other parents, so it is a really lovely weekend.

“Ellie Simmonds stayed for the whole weekend. Louise had known Ellie since she was a little girl and I met Ellie in 2004 and the children really look up to her, and the other paralympians.”

Savannah said: “My favourite sport is swimming because I like being in water and want to be a paralympic swimmer like Ellie Simmonds who I meet every year. It is really special because I get to meet other people with dwarfism and I meet lots of friends and make new friends.

“I think I am doing really well, especially in my swimming.”

Savannah now plans to start training hard as she graduates to the throwing disciplines of javelin and discus.

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