WATCH: An extraordinary young Island woman is redefining what life with a disability looks like and wowing those who witness her in action. Tanelle Bolt became paralyzed after a diving accident near Port Renfrew, but with her unstoppable drive and charity to help people like her get adaptive sporting equipment she is a force to be reckoned with. Skye Ryan Reports.
Warm cheers and hugs seem to pour from people as they see Tanelle Bolt in action, as the 31-year-old dynamo turns her disability around before their very eyes.
“It’s absolutely heartwarming and to see the shots that she hit is phenomenal,” said Norm Jackson of Cowichan Gold & Country Club.
Bolt’s passion has always been sports but after becoming paralyzed in a diving accident near Port Renfrew three years ago, she has had to redefine herself as an athlete and turn to tech and adaptive equipment to enjoy her favourite sports again.
“Surfing, skiing, biking, golf,” Bolt listed as the sports she now plays.
“And she’s dealing with her situation in a way I just can’t believe,” said David Saunders of The Saunders Family Foundation, that has helped support the budding athlete over the past three years.
Yet Bolt’s newest find, a stand up sports wheelchair, is wowing all who see it.
“This has blown all my expectations out of the water,” said Bolt, showing it off to a gathered crowd at Cowichan Valley Golf & Country Club.
“And you push the arrow to go up. While you’re up you can still move it,” said Bolt demonstrating the chair in action.
“It stands you up and gives you the experience like everybody else is having you get to look people in the eyes.”
Bolt says its a triumph for people who haven’t used their legs in years.
With her charity RAD (Recreation Adapted Society), she’s helping put adaptive sports equipment into the hands of people who can use them by renting out specialized equipment so they can enjoy the sports they love, despite their disability.
“As common as a golf cart rental should be the way it is,” said Bolt. “There’s a whole group of support that is out there to help you with your injury.”
“This is just the beginning this is gonna be big and it’s gonna help so many people,” said Edie Foster of The Saunders Family Foundation.
Through her own injury Bolt is now helping others live their best life and inspiring the many she meets along the way.