Timothy a wheelchair wonder
HE was the first Australian to land a wheelchair backflip, and now Southern Cross University student Timothy Lachlan is inspiring others to embrace the action sport of Wheelchair Motocross (WCMX).
Lachlan, 21, has travelled the world showcasing his wheelchair skating skills, inspiring others to take up the adrenaline-pumping sport.
Now, alongside his second-year Occupational Therapy studies at Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus, Lachlan is "rolling out” his own not-for-profit organisation, WCMX and Adaptive Skate Australia.
This week he will travel to the NSW Central Coast to raise the profile of WCMX during Sportfest 2018 at Bateau Bay.
Lachlan has already competed in the United States at a Venice Beach adaptive skate competition and hosted workshops around Australia.
"I started going to the skate park early on in high school and I loved being able to clear my head and cruise with the flow of the skate bowl,” he said.
"My first major stack was in a clunky hospital wheelchair I was using, when I attempted a 12-foot drop-in and ended up snapping the chair - I'm just lucky it was the chair and not me!
"Since then I've been using a custom-built WCMX chair with suspension, cross-bracing and carbon fibre wheels which suits the sport way better.
"And, of course, like any extreme sport, it takes a lot of safety gear and a lot of practice.
"When I was younger I met Wheelz (Aaron Fotheringham) from Nitro Circus and was starstruck - I thought it was so cool what he could do.
"He told me that practice is the key and to get out there and have fun with it, and now I am the one saying that to other people.
"The skills WCMX has taught me have helped me greatly in everyday mobility; I can get up and down curbs, stairs and steep ramps.
"The main reason I host workshops and meet-ups is to teach others these transferable skills.”
Lachlan has used crutches and a wheelchair since he was 14 because of low muscle tone and joint hypermobility from the waist down.
During high school, he was told he wasn't the right fit for university and not to bother aiming for a university entry score in Year 12.
But Lachlan proved the naysayers wrong following a lightbulb moment during a careers information session when an SCU representative explained the award-winning Preparing for Success Program as an alternative university pathway.
He is now completing his Vocational Readiness placement with the Careers and Employability team at SCU Gold Coast Campus and is expected to graduate in 2020.
Lachlan's other sporting endeavours this year include representing SCU in the Byron Ocean Swim and in the 5.7km event at the Gold Coast Marathon in his wheelchair.