A woman born with one arm becomes a two-time pole dancing world champion.

[BIANCA LONDON | MAILONLINE]

Australian Deb Roach was born without her left arm and faced a number of challenges growing up.

Deb grew up in Sydney, Australia, where she says accessibility and inclusion were never a strong focus of the schooling system.

‘At school kids were given the option to pick people to join their teams. I was always the last picked,’ she explained.

‘I focused really on my academic and my cerebral pursuits and got very trapped in my head for my teenage years.’

After starting work in her twenties, Deb began joining colleagues at the gym during her lunch breaks, quickly becoming addicted to exercise and fitness.

"I’m like, ‘Why would a girl with one arm try and do what you guys are doing up there?’ And they challenged me. They said, ‘Why not?'”

— Deb Roach

But it wasn’t until she began stage-dancing and DJing at a club and saw a pole dancing double act perform that she decided to try something new.

She said: ‘They blew my mind. We were backstage and I said, ‘You lucky girls, with your two arms and your fancy pole dancing, that was insanely good’.’

The dancers then asked Deb if she’d ever tried pole dancing. She continued: ‘I’m like, ‘Why would a girl with one arm try and do what you guys are doing up there?’

And they challenged me. They said, ‘Why not?”

Taking them up on their challenge, Deb was in the dance studio within days and, despite some early frustrations, never looked back.

‘Things like climbing the pole took me a lot longer because my teachers had always trained with two arms and it was a pretty new sport back then,’ she explained.

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