Nitro Circus star Aaron ‘Wheelz’ Fotheringham has turned his disability into ability by pioneering an all-new extreme sport. Confined to a wheelchair with spina bifida since age 7, he’s the world’s first extreme wheelchair athlete and is inspiring action sports lovers across the globe with a series of world-first tricks adapted from skateboarding and BMX, dubbed WCMX.
You started riding skate parks at the age of 8 – did you find that the community of people you rode with when you were younger encouraged or inspired you to pursue the career of extreme sports?
I have always appreciated how much support i have received from BMX’rs and Skaters throughout my career! They have always offered advice and inspiration to me. I can’t thank the action sports community enough for helping me as much as they have!
And as a teen, would you ever have expected to be in the position you are now – touring the globe as an extreme sports athlete?
When i was younger i always dreamed of being a Pro athlete and touring the world, but i never expected my dreams to come true especially to the extent that they have. I’m very blessed to have had all of these awesome experiences!
How and when did you become a part of Nitro Circus?
When i was 18, i received an email from a producer from Nitro Circus, inviting me to come to practice and try out the Gigantic Ramp! Best email I’ve ever received… haha!
How many hours would you say you put into perfecting each stunt?
I am a perfectionist when it comes to trying to get a trick perfect. Some tricks i like to do, over and over. Sometimes that means i spend 10 hours at the skatepark in a day!
As the first wheelchair extreme sports athlete, do you feel that you’ve inspired people to see extreme sports differently, as something that people with disabilities can also be involved in and enjoy?
It’s been a very cool opportunity to help change the way people view a wheelchair. I hope to continue breaking barriers and show people that a wheelchair can be a lot of fun and not just a medical instrument !
What’s your favourite stunt performed on the Nitro Circus tour by any of the people involved?
It’s hard to pick just one! but I love watching Chris Haffey (inline) go down the ramp BACKWARDS. It scares me to death every time he does it!!! He’s a legend.
In a few words, sum up what people can expect to see on the Nitro Circus UK tour?
People can expect to see the biggest tricks in action sports get thrown down in every show. It’ll be mind blowing!!!