Whizz-Kidz is calling on young disabled people to tell them about their hopes for the legacy of the Paralympics.
The charity is asking whether or not young disabled Brits have been left feeling inspired at the close of the Games through their The ‘Generation Inspired?’ consultation. With the findings of this consultation, which will be running online until Christmas, Whizz-Kidz will form a manifesto that they’ll deliver to the people charged with delivering the Paralympic legacy, ensuring that they are fully informed about what young disabled people want.
Ruth Owen OBE, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz said: ‘The London Paralympics shone a spotlight on the talent, skill and ambition of disabled people. However it will be a hugely missed opportunity if we don’t capitalise on the legacy of the Games – and not just to create more access to sport, but to offer greater opportunity for young disabled people across all areas of society. The young wheelchair users we speak to tell us they face invisible and visible barriers every day. It’s essential to keep on challenging these and make an enduring difference.
“With the results of our ‘Generation Inspired?’ survey, Whizz-Kidz will work in partnership with young people, decision makers, sports organisations and corporate and public bodies, to ensure all disabled youngsters can aspire to – and expect – a bright future.”
Some high-profile names are lending their support to the consultation, too. Whizz-Kidz supporter, ex-Paralympian and television presenter, Ade Adepitan, said: “As a former competitor, and having now spent two weeks presenting for the Paralympics, I think these have been the best Games ever. But I’m interested in what young disabled people want to see as the legacy now they have drawn to a close. The charity Whizz-Kidz are intending to find out – so let them know if you feel part of ‘Generation Inspired’.”
Charlotte Henshaw, Paralympics 2012 silver medallist SB6 100m Breastroke, added: “I’m proud to have represented my country in London 2012, and bringing home a Silver medal feels fantastic. I know there are thousands of young disabled people excited for a UK legacy following the Games, so I’m supporting Whizz-Kidz’s‘Generation Inspired?’ survey to help highlight these hopes and ensure lasting change.”
Whizz-Kidz has already played its part in the legacy of the Games. The group contributed to ensuring London’s improved accessibility ahead of the Paralympics, working closely with BAA and Transport for London to get them ready for the arrival of Paralympic athletes and increasing numbers of disabled passengers. George Fielding, Chair of Whizz-Kidz’s Kidz Board offered first hand guidance and said: “As a sports fan and a young wheelchair user, I hope the legacy of the Paralympics will raise awareness and respect for what disabled people can achieve – in the eyes of the non-disabled public, and disabled people ourselves.
“The Paralympics have highlighted the vital need to access the right equipment and training – and this is where it becomes an important platform considering society outside of sport too; I know that the wheelchair I received from Whizz-Kidz enables me to just get on with my life.”
Joel Connor-Saunders a fellow Kidz Board member and wheelchair basketball player said: “I want the doors that were open for me to get involved with wheelchair basketball and disability sports to be open for other young disabled people in the future. It’s really important that young disabled people have a say in the legacy of the Paralympics and let Whizz-Kidz know what they would like to see happening to make the most of the high profile disability sport has received.”
Share your views on the impact that Games have had on you at http://bit.ly/WKGenInspired.
Whizz-Kidz runs the largest network of young disabled people in the UK with over 1,000 ‘Ambassadors’ in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. For over twenty years, Whizz-Kidz has provided mobility equipment, training and – more recently work placements – to transform young disabled people’s lives and build bright futures. It aims to reach the 70,000 children and young people still waiting for the right equipment and skills training for them to live independent and full lives.