She could not believe that she is now part of an edgy yet inspirational and promotional campaign that aims to inspire and encourage women to challenge and face cultural assumptions about femininity that prevent or keep them from engaging in exercise and sports. She was surprised but also motivated and determined to show that she sure can.
Issy Bailey, 20 years old, was involved in a car crash a year ago with two former high school friends. She suffered spinal damage that left her paralyzed permanently from the waist down. She spent a month in the intensive care unit and half a year in the hospital before she was transferred to Stoke Mandeville Hospital’s spinal injuries unit.
It was during her hospital stay and rehabilitation that she was first introduced to wheelchair sports. She discovered her natural talent in target shooting despite the fact that she never tried shooting before. She was then encouraged to join the sport through Aspire, a spinal cord injury charitable organization.
Issy, being a sports enthusiast herself, was a promising hockey player. With the accident that left her unable to play hockey again, she still strongly refused to give up her love for sports. And so she later participated in several sporting events.
And just last month, she joined the Inter Spinal Unit Games. And she is also looking forward to the IPC World Cup that will be held in Poland in which she will be joining the target shooting event.
But Issy did not stop there. She also joined the wheelchair rugby team of Gloucester. She plays the offensive and is one of the team’s top try scorers. With her skills and enthusiasm, she helped her team reached the top of league three.
Issy’s motivation, dedication and determination gave one of her rugby team coaches a great idea. Without her knowledge the coach sent her picture to the This Girl Can Campaign, a national campaign that seeks to inspire and motivate women to jiggle and wiggle, move and prove that they can overcome judgment and cultural assumptions regarding sports and exercise.
Issy was surprised upon knowing she is the new face of the promotional campaign. But she was happy and motivated at the same time. She felt that through the campaign, she can show others that despite her disability she’s living her life to the fullest, playing sports and not putting anything on hold. To her, the campaign is a great opportunity to let the world know that she is unconditionally amazing.