Able2Do Anything: Sports

Paralympians become new proud mums

Robyn Love and Laurie Williams with baby Alba

Paralympians Robyn Love and Laurie Williams have struck gold becoming new mums of their beautiful daughter, Alba.

The GB basketball players first met in 2014 when Love joined the team, their friendship grew into a relationship and now they fly the flag for the LGBTQ+ communities.

Speaking to Sky Sports News at the start of Pride month Williams said: "Overall, it's gone really well. You never know what to expect, but she's been really good as gold. It has been challenging at times, trying to get into a routine but we're finding it really rewarding.”

Love said:  "I think we have been a perfect team and under high-pressure situations, so having this little baby, I think we've definitely had the experience that helped us handle it."

Williams believes their close connection on the court has prepared them for parenthood.

"Through sport, you're made to be like a really good communicator so from the start we communicated how we were feeling and what we found challenging,” she explained.

"I think that kind of compared with this natural competitiveness that we had, like we wanted to get it right obviously to make your life easier, but for Alba as well."

Williams discovered she was pregnant after she competed in the delayed Tokyo Olympics after successful IVF treatment, at the time Love was playing for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham.

At first the couple were weary of reactions on social media from people who have strong opinions on same sex couples and disabled parents, but there was nothing to worry about.

Williams lives with motor neuropathy, affecting her trunk and legs, Love was born with arthrogryposis, her right leg is shorter than the left. 

"I think it's important to highlight that there's nothing you can't do, you just need to adapt,” Williams said.

Growing up the athlete was unaware of the Paralympics, there was also little awareness at the time for disabled people, especially those who do not use a wheelchair.

"I didn't see LGBT people, disabled people, never mind the two things combined. Personally, I didn't see myself represented in the media." she explained.

Love watched Williams at the 2012 Paralympics in London, two years before they met. The games received extensive coverage with primetime slots on TV and across the media.

"That exposure, it not only educates people but also gets people into the sport,” Love told Sky Sports. “I wish when I was younger, I would have seen it on television and I could have started younger. I started pretty young, but you want to be able to participate in sport like your able-bodied counterparts."

Love announced last month she was stepping away from international wheelchair basketball to concentrate on her passion for tennis, which she says is her “first love”.

"I just love hitting the ball… I love the sound,” Love explained.

"I feel like I owe it to myself to follow my dreams because with Alba, I want her to feel like she can do anything, and I think it's really important, as a parent, that if that's what you're preaching, then you've got to do it as well."

Williams is staying with wheelchair tennis, setting her sights on competing in the 2024 Paralympic Games being held in Paris.

It would see her ending up “on a high” following her defeat in Tokyo where she was knocked out in the quarter-finals.

"We were on track to bring home a medal [in Tokyo] and we just didn't get there but I think now, for me, having a child, it gives you a completely different perspective on life entirely, like everything for me has changed,” Williams said, reliving the painful memory.

“I think, to get to Paris and to compete, I'll be satisfied, because I know how much I've already achieved. When you win, it's not all about winning a medal, like there's so many different ways you can win in life, and I think having Alba is one of them."

[ Robyn Love and Laurie Williams got engaged under the Eiffel Tower in Paris ]

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