A DISABLED figure skater will be the first person from Bradford to represent Great Britain in the World Special Olympics Winter Games.

Teenager Jenny Lee, who will compete in Austria next year, took time out from her training to meet Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Geoff Reid at Bradford ice rink.

The meeting helped kick off fundraising by Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure (BDSL) to cover the £2,500 cost of sending Jenny to Austria.

She will be part of the 21-strong Team GB going to the winter games next March in Graz and Schladming.

Jenny, 19, of Farnhill, Keighley, is deaf and has an intellectual disability.

Already a Special Olympics horse rider, she started skating in 2011 to help improve her balance and coordination, but found it also increased her confidence.

Jenny said: “I love ice skating, it makes me feel happy. I am going to work hard to be the best that I can.

“I am very excited about being chosen to take part in the World Winter Games.”

Jenny is one of ten figure skaters who will compete alongside 11 Alpine skiers from the UK.

The games, whose competitors have learning disabilities, will feature nine Olympic-type winter sports involving 3,000 athletes from 110 nations.

Jenny hopes to follow the success of powerlifters James Crossley, of East Morton, Chris Woodhead, of Haworth, and Helen Burton, of Bradford, who brought home medals from last year’s Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

Jenny’s participation in the Winter Games has come through her involvement with BDSL.

BDSL chairman Hilary White said: “We are thrilled at Jenny’s success in gaining a place with the Great Britain team.

“This is a first for BDSL and I hope we will try and promote winter games in the future.”

BDSL’s fundraising campaign aims to cover the costs of entry, transport, kit, training weekends and insurance.

A number of fundraising activities have already been planned, but BDSL would like to hear from anyone who can help with sponsorship, donations of cash, or fundraising ideas.

Cllr Reid said: “If any people or businesses can get behind Jenny with sponsorship or donations, I urge them to do so.”

Anyone who can help can contact Barry Thorne on bsr1@btconnect.com or call him on 01274 437093.