Journey Back

Elke Lale
van Achterberg

Discover my remarkable life story and all the wonderful experiences during my road to the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo (Japan).
Watch her story

Contact

Please send me a message if you have any questions, or contact my manager Gaby van Achterberg via 0031 (0)6 18 54 52 20.
Thank you for your message. We'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Support

Do you want to support me on my journey to Japan 2020?
To reach my goal (participating in the 2020 Paralympics) I am always open for people who are willing to support me in any way possible. Of course you can expect something back from me. For example, I often give clinics or inspirational sessions to the companies that sponsor me.

If you have any questions about the various ways you can support me please contact my manager:
gaby.schermen@hotmail.com or via phone 0031 (0)6 185 45 220.

Schedule

Follow all the upcoming events in which I participate!

Tournaments

10-13 February 2019

IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup Seniors
Epee - Foil

Sharjah, United Arabic Emirates
More info
14-16 February 2019

World Championships U23
Epee - Foil - Sabre

Sharjah, United Arabic Emirates
21-24 March 2019

IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup Seniors
Epee - Foil - Sabre

Pisa, Italy
More info
20-26 May 2019

IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup Seniors
Epee - Foil - Sabre

Sao Paolo, Brazil
10-15 July 2019

IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup Seniors
Epee - Foil - Sabre

Warsaw, Poland
17-23 September 2019

IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships Seniors
epee - foil - sabre

Cheongju, Korea
14-17 November 2018

IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup Seniors
Epee - Foil - Sabre

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Awards

2018 World Championships U17 (Warsaw - Poland)

gold foil
silver epee

2018 World Championships U23 (Warsaw - Poland)

bronzeepee
bronze foil

2018 World Ranking U23

Number 2epee
Number 3 foil

2018 Tournoi de Villemomble Seniors (Paris - France)

bronzeepee

2018 winner Golden Tulip - Altin Lale

Best Turkish athlete in the Netherlands

2018 nominee the Young 100

One of the 100 most inspirational youngsters U23 in the Netherlands

2017 World Championships U23 (Warsaw - Poland)

silverepee
bronze foil

2017 World Championships U17 (Warsaw - Poland)

silver epee
silver foil

2017 World Ranking U23

Number 1 epee

2017 World Ranking U17

Number 1 epee
Number 1 foil

2017 World Cup U23 (Stadskanaal - Netherlands)

gold epee
bronze foil

2017 World Cup U17 (Stadskanaal - Netherlands)

gold (mixed)epee
silver foil

2017 Challenge International Handisport des Joinvillas Seniors (Antibes - France)

gold epee

2017 Youngster of the Year

Most inspirational youngster U21 in the Netherlands

2016 De Slag om Den Bosch Juniors (Netherlands)

gold epee

2016 Challenge de Joinvillais Seniors (Antibes - France)

bronzeepee

2016 Winner Scherm-Oscar

Beste Wheelchair Fencer in the Netherlands

2015 World Championships U23 (Sharjah - UAE)

bronze epee
bronze foil

2015 world Championships U17 (Sharjah - UAE)

bronze (mixed)epee
bronze (mixed)foil

2015 World Junior Games U23 (Stadskanaal - Netherlands)

silver (mixed teams)foil
bronzeepee
bronze foil

2015 Intercity Nijmegen (Netherlands)

goldepee

2015 winner Scherm-Oscar

Beste Wheelchair Fencer in the Netherlands

2014 World Championships U17 (Warsaw - Poland)

bronze epee
bronze foil

2014 Slag om Den Bosch Juniors (Netherlands)

gold epee

2014 World Junior Games (Stoke Mandeville - England)

bronze foil
bronze (mixed teams)foil

2014 International Wheelchair Fencing Tournament Gouda Seniors (Netherlands)

goldfoil
silver (mixed)foil

2014 International Wheelchair Fencing Tournament Gouda Seniors (Netherlands)

bronzeepee

2014 winner Wheelchair Athlete with International Potential Award

International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation350 athletes, 31 countries, 6 sports

2014 winner Scherm-Oscar

Best Wheelchair Fencer in the Netherlands

This is my
story

Hi!
I am Elke Lale van Achterberg. A eighteen-year-old wheelchair fencer. My goal is to participate in the 2020 Paraympics I Tokyo. Do you want to know how I am getting there? Check out my story.

My Story

October 2011. The month my life completely changed. I took a head roll on my bed and totally landed the wrong way. What started as a minor fracture in my big toe resulted in the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS type 1). Since that day I felt nerve pain in my left leg for 24 hours a day, my left foot was standing in a high peak position and I couldn’t move or put any pressure on it without experiencing heavy pain. Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with CRPS and I fell into a depression.
 
After four years of living with intense pain I decided to have my lower leg amputated. The surgery took place on April 3rd 2015, with no guarantee it would help. But doing nothing was not an option anymore. Luckily it was the best decision in my life! The pain was gone and I could walk, cycle and skating again by wearing a special designed leg prosthesis.
Elke van Achterberg

From feeling depressed to being one of the best

After I was diagnosed with CRPS I fell into a depression. Until I discovered wheelchair fencing in November 2012! Due to this sport my energy level boosted and I allowed myself to be happy again. Together with a team of specialists I started training 6 times a week at several locations to develop my skills. With result. In 2018 I got the World Champion U17 in the weapon foil.
 
In 2014 I started participating in the adult category of international wheelchair fencing. My results so far are a 8th place at the European Championships in 2018 (Epee) and a 7th place at the World Cup in  2017 (Foil).

The road to the 2020 Paralympics

Because my grandfather is Turkish I was born with both Dutch and Turkish nationality. When Turkey approached me in 2016 to play for their national team I immediately said yes. I’ve always had the dream to play at the Paralympics. The Turkish Sports Federation for the Physically Disabled (TBESF) and my Turkish club Nilufer Belediyespor are able to give me extra support on several levels. Which means I’m one step closer to the 2020 Paralympics and now have access to a whole team of professionals. My two coaches Mathijs Rohlfs (from Schermcentrum Amsterdam) and Roel Verwijlen (from Schermclub Den Bosch), mental coach Paul Hoogers, orthopedic instrument maker Frank Jol and personal trainer Kilian Stoker and physiotherapist Nadia Nuyens (both from Fysiomed Amsterdam). But it also means I have to step up my game. Therefore I’m training six days a week. Sometimes I went to Turkey to train with my Turkish coach Yusuf Sahin.

Although I’m now playing for the Turkish National Team it is still my goal to put wheelchair fencing on the map in the Netherlands. I still do a lot of demonstrations at rehabilitation centers and during events. Also, I’m still a proud member of the KNAS (Royal Dutch Association for Fencers).  

Sponsors that support my dream

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