An impact report for WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport has revealed that over 45,000 disabled people have played sport at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in the last year.
The amount people coming from all around the country to train for the GB team, attend a sports camp, or participate in a disability sport at the famous venue recognised as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement has increased by 17% on the previous year.
WheelPower are dedicated to providing opportunities for disabled people to find a sport they enjoy and organising events throughout the year to introduce people to wheelchair sport.
With sports events in Stoke Mandeville, London, Birmingham, Glasgow and an advisor programme at some of the Spinal Injury Centre’s around the country WheelPower have been able to help even more people. Over the year 794 patients currently rehabilitating from a spinal cord injury enjoyed a great range of activities including archery, fitness, table tennis, slalom races and wheelchair rugby organised by our Physical Activity Advisors and 288 disabled children were introduced to sport at our highly commended junior sport programme.
Megan Fossberry, a graduate of the programme now aiming for Rio 2016 said “I went to my first WheelPower camp and I tried lots of different sports, but the last sport I tried was archery and I fell in love with it straight away! I felt that the whole experience of the WheelPower camp was amazing and without it I would have never had found archery.”
WheelPower’s chairman Kevan Baker OBE said “Whether it’s joining a team, competing for Great Britain or simply joining in with friends, WheelPower aim to support people at all levels.”
“Our work has contributed to a rise in the number of disabled people playing sport in recent years. Currently 17.2% of disabled people play sport once a week, a rise of 224,700 over the last nine years.”
“Sadly this much lower than the 39.3% of non-disabled people who regularly play sport and much more needs to be done to enable more disabled people to play sport more often. WheelPower will continue increasing participation for more disabled people throughout 2016.”
Find out more about WheelPower at www.wheelpower.org.uk