CSL Why Sit it Out
CSL Why sit it out

Ishmael, aged 13


I used to worry about getting hurt – mainly when I was first introduced to haemophilia. I worried that if I got hurt it would stop me playing sports altogether.

I feel more confident now, because I’ve understood that sport makes me stronger, and protects me from getting hurt in the future.

So there’s nothing that stops me from playing sports like a regular person. I get to have fun, be with friends and not let anything hold me back.

Ishmael's story

Discovering climbing

My friend told me about it, and so I went to check out the club at school and I’ve just loved it since then. It was really easy to sign up – I just had to go to my PE teacher and get a permission slip signed by my mum.

I love feeling that adrenaline running through your body. When you’re climbing up that wall, there’s no-one up there with you – you’re focused on that wall, finding that challenging route, and you can forget about everything.

What being active means to me

I do other sports like handball and dodgeball and they all help me get the stress away. It also makes you feel more confident, and when you meet new people, you’ll feel more relaxed talking to them because you’ve talked to your teammates lots of times.

From a haemophilia side, it makes you stronger, it helps your joints. If you don’t do enough exercise, there are loads of problems like arthritis and joint pain.

Exercise makes you stronger, it helps your joints. If you don't do enough, there are loads of problems like arthritis and joint pain.

The people around me are a big help

My mum’s really supportive, and makes me feel even more confident when I’m climbing up that wall, knowing that if I fall, she’s going to be there.

My coach and teachers have really supported me. My coach has supported me by saying that if I ever feel tired or I get pains, then let them know and I can sit down for a while.

My message to others

Your haemophilia won’t stop you from doing everything. And because it builds your strength and helps your joints, it can actually help you instead of stopping you.

Meet some of the other young
people who won't sit it out

Find the right
activity for you

Here are some ideas to get you started – and they’re not all organised sports!