An Ysgol y Frenni pupil has defied all odds to pass her cycling proficiency test.

Ten-year-old Grace Mathias from Crymych stunned her family, friends, teachers and cycling tutors to pass levels one and two of the test, despite being told she would never be able to ride a two-wheeled bike due to her cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy are a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and co-ordination, caused by a problem with the brain that occurs before, during or soon after birth.

When cycling proficiency leaders attended the school recently there were reservations that Grace would be able to take part given her lack of experience of riding bikes.

However no one, including her mum Sally, took into account Grace’s determination to remain included with what her friends were doing.

Under the tutelage of her instructor, retired police officer Ian Richards, Grace’s commitment to learning paid dividends with improvements seen throughout the week

Despite some difficulty with signalling with her right arm due to the lack of body stability on the left side Grace demonstrated all the safety factors required to pass the test which she did with flying colours, much to the delight of the school and mum Sally.

“I have to admit, I had reservations about Grace’s ability to take part in the proficiency test due to her lack of experience on bikes compared to her friends, but I should have known better,” she said.

“She’s never allowed her Cerebral Palsy to hold her back and she’s always wants to be included in what her friends are doing even though her left side is much weaker than her right which affects her balance.”

Grace suffered a haemorrhage when she was born and was put on a life support machine.

When doctors deemed there was no brain activity they turned the machine off.

“We said our goodbyes,” added Sally. “But she had other ideas.”

The hospital’s Chaplain was called in to christen her yet slowly and surely, she recovered enough and the doctors allowed her to go home.

“I shouldn’t have doubted she’d be able to achieve this. She’s always proving us wrong.

“Doctors told her she’d probably never be able to ride a two-wheeled bike but then again, they told her she probably wouldn’t be able to pull herself up and walk but she did.

“Passing the test is monumental. It’s given her so much confidence.

“She’ll be able to go on the road now and when we go on a family holiday soon, she’ll be able to cycle with her brother and sister and she’s never been able to do that before.

“We’ll be able to go on family bike rides. It’ll be great.”

Grace’s class teacher in Ysgol y Frenni, Wayne Bowen, paid tribute to his pupil’s ‘hard work and perseverance’.

“She surprises everyone every day with her determination and the fact that she does not give up,” he said.

Grace is among 900-plus primary age children who receive National Standards Cycle Training every year from Pembrokeshire County Council.

Sally Bevan from the road safety team praised her exceptional achievement and thanked cycling instructor Ian Richards.

“He’s a fantastic trainer and we are very lucky to have him in our team,” she said.