Baby Leo is good as gold for Shelly

She's won silver at the Paralympic Games and raced to victory in the London Marathon but for elite athlete Shelly Woods baby Leo Elijah for is more precious than any medal.

Monday, 24th April 2017, 5:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:36 pm
Shelly Woods with baby Leo
Shelly Woods with baby Leo

The St Annes-based wheelchair racing superstar became a mum for the first time on March 28.

And she’s loving the very different challenges of parenthood, trading early morning training for late night feeds.

St-Annes-based Shelly, 30, who married Leo’s dad Chris Oxley in 2011, said: “I can’t believe it’s been nearly four weeks alread.

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“It’s going really well, apart from a few sleepless nights.

“He is lovely, and well worth all the hard work, he’s amazing.

“I’ve raced at the Paralympics, I’ve won medals but I think Leo is my greatest achievement.

“I’ve done some done some good things in the past but this is totally different.”

Leo was born by planned Caesarian section and it’s the recovery from that operation that has presented the biggest problem for Shelly so far.

She said: “He’s very light at the moment so there’s no problem picking him up.

“The biggest thing has been going out with the pram.

“I’ve had some experience pushing my racing chair through airports.

“That is the closest I’ve got, it’s a bit of a learning curve but Leo’s dad has been about to help.

“I’ll have to get used to it.”

Three time Paralympian Shelly took the decision to put her athletics career on the backburner after dedicating herself to the pursuit of medals for more than a decade.

But she inists she will return.

“This was always on the radar,” she said.

“I wanted to focus on London 2012 but I did know at some point I wanted to start a family.

“It was just about when. I wanted to fulfil my career.

“I made a few changes in my racing setup in 2015/16 and it just seemed the right time.

“Instead of thinking of Rio it seemed right to have some time out.

“Right now Leo is my priority. But I still want to be able to get back into top shape.

“It’s three years until the next Olympic games.

“Some of the women I race against have taken time out to have children and come back just as strong.”