04/08/19

C-Leg wearer and charity champion Kiera stars in new Parasport advert

Ottobock C-Leg wearer and charity founder Kiera Roche has become the star of a new advertising campaign.

Kiera, from Lingfield in Surrey, is the founder of Limbpower, which has been helping people with limb difference get active, learn sports and participate in the arts since 2009.

She and 13 others — from wheelchair basketballers to archers and boxers — are now the faces of Parasport, a website launched by ParalympicsGB and supported by Toyota, the official Mobility partner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympics. Parasport is an online hub which aims to empower disabled people to become more active, with the ambition to create a fun and vibrant community for players, parents and coaches to share their experiences of para sport, and find useful hints, tips and information on what’s happening locally. This includes in depth listings and all the information needed to connect to local inclusive opportunities.

Entitled “It’s anyone’s game”, the advert had its TV premiere last week and featured during last week’s episode of The Last Leg on Channel 4. The ad will also feature across a number of online and video channels, including ALL4 and YouTube, as well as social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

Kiera, who is shown practicing yoga in the advert, said: “Being part of the campaign and working with Paralympics GB and Toyota to promote participation in grassroots activity is close to my heart. This new search engine will engage amputees and individuals with limb impairments in activity, improving physical, mental and social well-being.

“I met some incredible people during the filming all following different sports at different levels from elite athletes to other people like me. Watching the other amputees doing cross-fit has inspired me to get back into the gym. They were awesome.”

Kiera lost her leg above the knee in a road accident in Paris in 2001 and has been a C-Leg wearer for most of her time as an amputee. As well as offering the benefits of an improved walking motion and the safety of a stumble recovery mode, the C-Leg microprocessor knee is worn by more than 75,000 above-knee amputees worldwide.

For Kiera, her C-Leg helps her maintain her fit and healthy lifestyle and with it she can cycle and in yoga, she’s been able to do the warrior pose and with a knee rotator adapter, can achieve different sitting poses. She also enjoys running and swimming.

It also helps her be a hands-on parent.

She said: “I have two children, one eight and the other 12, and while they’re a lot bigger now, having the C-Leg when they were small was beyond invaluable. As a mother, being able to carry your own child without fear of falling is so important, and having the C-Leg I knew I would be able to do that. For women who are going through an amputation, I feel it’s important they know there’s a product out there that will give them that sense of security.”

As well as featuring in the advert, Kiera will be putting her C-Leg to the test this year with a series of physical challenges, including walking over the O2 Arena in Greenwich, completing long bike rides, trekking the South Downs Way and training to become a Nordic Walking instructor — all while running Limbpower.

“There are lots of different MPKs out there and they are all outstanding, and to be prescribed through the NHS really will change people’s lives and improve their quality of life,” she said. “On a personal level, though, the C-Leg has two major benefits for me. Firstly, it’s about trust. I have had a C-Leg for almost all my life as an amputee and I know the knee so well, I trust it implicitly to be there for me if I were to stumble or lose balance. Secondly, it’s about mobility and movement; C-Leg responds so fast to what you want to do, such as speed up or slow down, it’s so intuitive. For me, as a more active user, this is crucial.”

To find out more about Parasport, visit www.parasport.org.uk and to find out more about LimbPower, visit www.limbpower.com

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