Fabienne André: remember the name, because the young wheelchair racer is well on her way to becoming a star and now has the wheels to help her go even further.
The Brighton-based para athlete recently swapped the swimming pool for the race track, a discipline that requires the use of some bulky equipment which was proving a struggle to fit into Fabienne’s much-loved Toyota Aygo.
That’s where we stepped in, giving Fabienne a new Corolla Hybrid Hatchback with more than enough room to carry all her kit, including her racing wheelchair, to training and competitions across the UK.
Fabienne André: Start Your Impossible
22-year-old Fabienne truly embodies the spirit of Start Your Impossible, refusing to let her cerebral palsy diagnosis at three years old hold her back. Following a major leg operation at 14, she took up swimming on the advice of her physiotherapist and hasn’t looked back since.
She joined the Mid-Sussex Marlins swimming club in Burgess Hill and rapidly moved up through the ranks, ultimately competing in national and international events. Fabienne represented England in the World Cerebral Palsy Games in Barcelona in August 2018, winning medals in each of the four events she swam in.
Never one to rest on her laurels, Fabienne has now taken up wheelchair racing and is hoping to compete in triathlons. Early signs are promising: this summer, she took part in the Hybrid event at the Müller Anniversary Games. She came second – just behind the current world record holder.
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“I absolutely loved my Aygo, but now that I have to regularly transport a racing wheelchair, I need a bigger car,” Fabienne told us. “The new Corolla is just the job and it means I’ll arrive in style wherever I go.”
We’ll be keeping an eye on Fabienne’s progress in the build-up to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and beyond.