YORK's Beth Moulam says securing a long-awaited debut at the Paralympic Games caps the end of a cyclical sporting fairytale.

Moulam, 27, officially booked her place in a nine-strong boccia squad on the plane to Tokyo where she will compete in the BC3 category.

The precision, ball-based sport is aimed at athletes with severe physical disabilities and Moulam has never looked back since falling in love as a 10-year-old.

She remembers watching para-athlete Caroline Baird – who also has cerebral palsy – soar to T36 200m and 400m golds at Sydney 2000 and says the Scot has blazed a trail for her to follow as she makes her Games bow.

“There have been lots of amazing achievements that I’m proud of, but the proudest moment has to be getting selected for Tokyo,” said Moulam, who is one of over 1,000 athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme.

“I remember watching Caroline getting interviewed after she won gold, and I fell in love with her.

“She has cerebral palsy and a speech impairment – and that was when I knew I wanted to be on the world stage.

“It just goes to show the power of dreams – Caroline is now a firm friend and because of her, I know if you work hard your dreams will come true.

“I’m going to be living the dream of my six-year-old self. I’m so proud of what she has achieved despite everything against her.

“It makes me very proud – I was aiming for the Paralympics in 2024 as my debut but I feel humbled and fortunate.”

Moulam’s career has been powered by the World Class Programme that allows her to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise around £30 million each week for good causes.

Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has on sport at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk