- Edmund Hillary
London and Rio Paralympian Mel Nicholls lives adventure and is racing her way worldwide.
A series of life changing strokes as an independent fit and healthy young woman, a life devoted to horses, a rider, runner, cyclist and all round adrenaline junkie, Mel was left unable to walk and use much of the left side of her body following her third stroke in 2008.
…Fast forward four years after watching the Beijing Paralympics from her hospital bed, Mel raced in front of an 80,000 home crowd and the rest of the world, in wheelchair racing at the London 2012 Paralympics. Just 15 months after taking up the sport.
Mel went on as part of the GB Athletics team to represent her country for the next 4 years, achieving track world records, European and World major medal success and becoming a Paralympic finalist at both London 2012 and Rio 2016. At the end of 2016 Mel made the move from track to turn her focus to endurance and road racing in wheelchair racing and her new sport of handcycling, where in her first season on the GB team achieved international medal success.
Great Britain Para Athlete Mel has her sights firmly on a bright future, combining her love for her sport with her passion of adventure. Mel’s mottoes of Dream Big and Live an Adventure are no truer than her real life adventure tales as she continues to push her own boundaries and challenge perceptions of what is possible. Not content to leave her adrenaline-fuelled, outdoor world in her past life, Mel reconnected with her adventure spirit while exploring a small island off the west coast of Scotland. Mel’s spiritual home remains the birthplace of her discovering what is possible and rediscovering her adventure.
Mel’s workplace is the great outdoors and brings a unique take on adventure with disability, the female role and as a sportswoman. Her love of adventure and wild places shine through in her passion for storytelling in her blogs and writings and developing project work in encouraging and supporting anyone facing barriers to get active outside.
Mel is an athlete and adventurer, outdoor leader, motivational speaker and aspiring writer. With her zest for life and always with a smile on her face, Mel hopes to inspire others to reach for the top of their own mountains and believe that anything is possible.
Working with Ordinance Survey, Mel is a #GetOutside champion, sharing her love of being outside and helping to showcase the best of British outdoors, its physical and mental health benefits, being accessible for everyone.
As honorary patron for the Roses Theatre Tewkesbury, Mel supports the Roses Take Part community projects that offer creative and enriching experiences for the community through the arts, supporting disability, adults with mental health issues, the elderly, families experiencing domestic abuse and young offenders.
Mel continues her partnership with Hartpury as Sports Ambassador, helping to deliver sessions and learning to sports students, from a competing elite athlete viewpoint. Work with the university centre on career progression and student support will continue to grow in 2018
A qualified Breeze Champion through British Cycling’s Let’s Ride campaign, Mel has launched her own cycling group leading rides, encouraging women of all abilities to get on their bikes. HSBC UK Breeze offers fun, free bike rides – as well as plenty of support and inspiration – for women of all abilities.