Lily will feature her WCMX skills on a Toyota advert

Lily Rice  Lily Rice has recently returned from the trip of a lifetime, where in the space of ten days she was involved in filming for an advert with Toyota in Kiev (where the temperature was -10C) and Rome (a balmy +15C). 

For Lily, who is 14 years old, it marked recognition of her inspirational work in the sport of Wheelchair Moto Cross (WCMX), where she became the first-ever female to propel her wheelchair down a sheer 14 foot ramp and was only the second-ever to complete a back somersault in a skate park in a wheelchair. 

It hasn't all been glamour, however, because there have inevitably been accidents on the way, graphically captured on film and featured on her social media where one fall resulted in a bruised body, swollen lip and other minor scrapes - but it is very much part of her determined approach to life that after a short stay in hospital she was back in action and the joy on her face was evident when she powered down the ramp and stayed upright!

 Joining forces with top car manufacturer

It is over 30 years since BMX and Skateboarding started and since then skate parks like the superb facility in Haverfordwest have sprung up. Toyota are the main Olympic and Paralympic Partner and with Lily’s help the mobility company are eager to promote WCMX as a potential future Paralympic sport by supporting the development of inclusive WCMX friendly skate parks. Toyota quote “when we are free to move anything is possible” this certainly sums Lily, who hopes she will be able to give a demonstration in the 2020 Games in Japan with her fellow riders.

So they have used Lily (and dad Mark as a bit-part actor!) in the video, which not only highlights the company’s Hydrogen Engine Car but Lily's sport as well, with the advert expected to appear on TV, in cinemas and on web sites around February next year - so it is expected to go global! 

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Providing permanent inclusive sites is vital 

Currently in the UK there aren’t many skate parks being built that are inclusive, we are lucky that the one in Haverfordwest is partly inclusive and offers plenty of options for first time WCMXers. Mark says “It’s vital for the growth of the sport that all skateparks embrace accessibility and inclusivity and adapting these skateparks doesn’t have to be expensive if a little thought is put in at the design stage”. 

On the home front Lily is rightly full of praise for the support provided by her family, with parents Mark and Jenni joined by sister Amber (11).

"They are brilliant and so are many others, as well as my skate mate Daisy, who comes from Pembroke," says Lily, "and she is a great help, especially when I need a push to get out of the bowl or up a ramp - and we have great fun at the skate park alongside loads of others."

Lily’s Mum Jenni is eager to sing the praise of those who help: the Haverfordwest Skate Park Charity and not at least the other youngsters who attend the skate park in Haverfordwest all support Lily in many ways.

"It typifies the way that skate parks can operate because there are no dedicated coaches as yet but the older riders encourage the youngsters and offer advice, they post all their tricks on their social media which then gets peer reviewed and that’s how individual progression takes place,” said Mark. “Qualified coaches are perhaps part of the next stage of skate parks' development - but at the moment the local park does brilliantly with its own form of self-regulation.”

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 Inspiring others 

As part of her development Lily also has her own specially-constructed wheelchair from a company named Roma Sport, who have also been helpful, and it is great to report that because of her demonstrations and inspirational talks, there have been others who have also acquired new WCMX wheelchairs like Ben 8 (Henley), Angus 8 (Reading), and Imogen, who is just six years old and lives in Newport. 

Lily continues to create attention towards developing awareness of what WCMX has to offer across the world with the powerful aid of Toyota. 

She has already made remarkable progress from the time she started out as a nervous 11 year-old and has since become a very confident young lady who has created so much interest with her skills, commitment and ability to communicate.

Lily has already travelled widely around the world and is sure to be heavily involved in WCMX for many years to come - and we at are confident we will hear so much more about this smashing young lady in the future.