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Boy, 12, Is ‘Youngest To Do Wheelchair Backflip’

April 22, 2022

A 12-year-old boy is thought to have become the youngest person in Europe to have performed a backflip in a wheelchair at a skate park.

Ben Sleet, from Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, has spina bifida and achieved the challenge after five years of training.

He said it took “practice, practice and practice”.

Ben wants to pursue a career in his chosen sport but is seeking a sponsor as facilities are unavailable nearby.

He fulfilled his goal at Rampworld in Cardiff, and during lockdown he won the “beginners” wheelchair-cross work championships in a virtual competition.

“You get stronger in your arms and build your way up,” he said.

“You just have to eventually go for it and hit it, I guess.”

‘Mind-blowing’

Ben’s mother Angela said he “makes it look so easy”.

“When he first does a trick, if it’s a big trick, I get nervous,” she added.

“I hide and let my husband film it, and help him, and if he tells me he’s done a good job, I come and have a look, film it and I’m alright.”

Richard Inskip, who has supported Ben in attempting stunts for several years, said: “The amount of times Ben tried to do the backflip – he did slam and he did hurt himself, he did take a knock, but every time he got himself back up, he was in his chair and trying again.

“It’s that ability to keep yourself going and keep trying that allows to you progress, and what Ben’s progressed to blows my mind.”

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