Sport has a special significance in Ronja Holzes life: First it helped her to accept her new life situation, then she fought her way up to the world championship and into the national squad in just a few years. Which sports she is talking about here, which auxiliary mean is particularly important for her life as an athlete and how she otherwise rolls, she tells us on REHACARE.com.
Name: Ronja Holze Age: 21 City: Magdeburg, Germany Occupation: Influencer / Sports woman Disability: I have an unexplained neurological growth disorder in which my ligaments become too long – this causes me to lose stability; epilepsy (overstress disorder, I get seizures for example when laughing/crying too much, too much heat and so on); phasic cerebral palsy from L3 / L4; pointed feet on both sides / foot lift weakness on both sides
Ronja Holze: A good sports programme, order, planning... I am a person who enjoys order in everyday life.
Which auxiliary means or daily living aids are indispensable for you?
Ronja Holze: In everyday life, of course, my NANO active wheelchair from Meyra Wheelchairs: It gives me the freedom to do everything without restrictions. What would you like to see from society and your fellow people in dealing with people with disabilities?
Ronja Holze: Friendliness and not being stared at, but simply being treated normally. And: Don't just touch! After all, we are all human beings, not an object.
Which assistive device would urgently need to be invented and/or improved?
Ronja Holze: I can't think of anything to say about that.
What has been your biggest challenge so far that you have mastered – and what has helped you to do so?
Ronja Holze: My biggest challenge was accepting life in a wheelchair: Sport helped a lot to accept that I have been in a wheelchair since the end of 2017. Through WCMX I learned how to fly, the freedom, the fun and the handling of the wheelchair. Thanks to David Lebuser, I experienced that everything is possible. He is one of my best friends today.
I also had some successes: - German Champion in WCMX 2019 in Berlin. - First in Devison 2 (women's professional class) - Third place at the World Championships in WCMX 2019 in Cologne in Devison 2 (women's professional class).
In wheelchair basketball I learned about cohesion and how much is possible despite the limitation – I was allowed to learn that in many different clubs and teams: - SGH Berlin wheelchair basketball in the Landesliga Ost, session 2016/2017 - RSC Frauen Berlin in the eastern double league, session 2017/2018; 2018/2019 - Pfeffersport Wheelchair Basketball in the Regional League East, Session 2017/2018; 2018/2019; 2019/2020 - RSC Osnabrück women in the Regionaliga Nord, session 2019/2020 - U25 squad of the national women's team
What can the assistive technology industry learn from the Corona pandemic to make life easier and/or better for people with disabilities in the future?
Ronja Holze: I have not had a bad experience so far.
If nothing would be impossible: Who would you like to meet one day and why?
Ronja Holze: I would like to meet my sponsor Tom Finch from Finch Adaptive Fabrication in person and thank him for supporting me in WCMX. And I would like to have a fan meeting with all my fans from TikTok and Instagram, and also thank all my supporters for believing in me.
What was your best REHACARE experience?
Ronja Holze: So far I have not been to one.
What I finally want to say...
Ronja Holze: I am currently fundraising for my own customised basketball sports wheelchair. The manufacturer EXTRA Custom Made Wheelchairs would make one for me and even cover some of the costs – but I have to pay for the transport costs and the drive wheels myself. I would appreciate a donation so that I can realise my dream of having my own basketball sports wheelchair!