Paralympian Lorraine Lambert encourages more people to try shooting as she urges 'anything is possible'
DON’T give up on yourself, be that person and encourage yourself to do things.
This is the inspirational new year advice of Paralympian Lorraine Lambert, from Milton, who has overcome adversity to thrive in shooting and has her sights set on Tokyo.
In 1997, Lorraine had a rock climbing accident while working as an instructor which led to agony in her left leg.
Living with complex regional pain syndrome, Lorraine underwent 16 operations between 1997 and 2010 and was in constant pain.
The 48-year-old told The News she decided to have her leg amputated in 2005, but couldn’t find anyone to do it.
Lorraine said: ‘They don’t like to take legs off for pain, and the syndrome could move. They were worried it was going to move up my leg.
‘I was in a wheelchair and on elbow crutches - you lose the ability to use your hands.’
In January 2010, Lorraine finally had her left leg amputated - and it has changed her life completely.
‘It was the best decision I ever made,’ she said, adding: ‘I do get days when the pain is really sharp and horrible but it’s better than it was.
‘Within eight weeks I was walking unaided and walked along the seafront with my best friend. It was absolutely amazing.’
May 2010 saw Lorraine compete in the LimbPower Games, rediscovering a love of shooting which had been forgotten since her days as a cadet.
Lorraine threw herself into shooting, and has been through a whirlwind of international competitions over the past decade.
Lorraine said: ‘I was selected for my first international in Turkey in spring 2011 - I didn’t have a passport.
‘I won my very first team trophy. That really gave me the bug for it and it’s gone crazy.’
Her next international was in December 2011, when she won her first individual gold medal in Dubai.
Being selected to compete in Rio 2016 was ‘the ultimate thing to happen’ for Lorraine.
When she isn’t jetting off for competitions or training hard at home and the Havant club, Lorraine visits schools to encourage children to try shooting.
She said: ‘It’s such a good sport for anyone to take up. You don’t need to be the fittest person in the world, there is no barrier.
‘I’m a big advocate and ambassador for shooting because it’s one of those sports anyone can do.’
Training is full-time, hard work and Lorraine uses photography with JustGreatShots as a way to relax between sessions, and takes part in yoga with Curvaceous Carla on Facebook.
Lorraine said: ‘I have got a bit of a philosophy that you can make anything possible. If you concentrate at something and try your hardest, you will succeed in some form.
‘Don’t give up on yourself, be that person and encourage yourself to do things.’
After her accident, Lorraine reconnected with her now-husband Wayne, who she went out with as cadets, and says she now lives an incredible life.
Lorraine added: ‘It would have been easy to give up when I had my accident.
‘But there’s always been something in me that’s said you’re not going to give up because you deserve to be the best version of yourself.’
The team for Tokyo will be announced in January, so Lorraine is waiting with bated breath.