Skip to content

Our Hafzah’s a real sporting superstar!

We’re just bursting with pride right now. One of the amazing children we support has won Panathlon’s West Yorkshire Outstanding Achiever 2018 award!

And for very good reason. 13 year old Hafzah Tariq from Elland is a vital member of the Calderdale boccia team, crowned Panathlon’s Yorkshire multisport champions four years in a row as well as North of England champions for the last two years. Plus, she recently won gold in the wheelchair slalom and precision beanbag events at the Disability Sports Yorkshire Junior Athletics Finals in Leeds.

But then she’s always exceeded expectations. When Hafzah was born, she was diagnosed with a rare condition called nemaline myopathy. Doctors predicted that she’d never sit up by herself and was unlikely to live past the age of one; predictions she’s been disproving ever since!

In fact, despite being confined to a wheelchair and suffering communication difficulties, Hafzah now attends a mainstream school and has excelled in every sporting challenge that has come her way.

Despite all this grit and determination, Shagufta, Hafzah’s mum, says it sometimes still takes a little push for her to do something unfamiliar. Like when Forget Me Not went to Whitby for a boat trip, Hafzah was reluctant to go at first. But with a little gentle encouragement from her mum and dad, she went along, ending up having a ‘fantastic time’, one she’d ‘definitely do again’!

Shagufta feels that being part of the Forget Me Not family has really helped to build Hafzah’s confidence and independence. She’s been coming to the hospice once a month for just over a year now, making the most of the activities we offer – like cinema trips, days out shopping and pamper sessions. Mum says, “She has to have carers with her all the time, but like any teenager, doesn’t want mum and dad constantly hanging around. She loves spending time with other teenagers and the team at Forget Me Not and it’s really helped her come out of her shell.”

Congratulations, Hafzah, on this fantastic achievement! You’ll have to come and show all of us how to play boccia! 

The Panathlon Challenge is a national charity which provides sporting opportunities for over 13,000 disabled young people each year.