Rio runs in a pair of trainers for the first time with the NEW Junior Cheetah® Running Blade!


Rio Woolf, aged 5, has become the first amputee ever to receive this newly designed version of the Cheetah running blade from Össur, tailored especially for children.

This high activity Junior Cheetah® Xplore prosthesis is the first of its kind in the UK and is based on the original Cheetah used by leading Paralympians such as Jonnie Peacock. Dorset Orthopaedic and Össur worked closely to provide Rio with this custom designed prosthesis, allowing him to run in a pair of trainers for the very first time!

Rio’s mother, Juliette Woolf commented: “Rio has already seen a huge improvement from the Junior Cheetah Xplore and he is ecstatic that he can now wear shoes on both feet!”

Dorset Orthopaedic supported Össur’s product in order to make it specifically suitable for Rio’s body and activities. They created a new lightweight socket for the prosthesis with a fun design inspired by the popular children’s film ‘Rio’ that Rio himself requested specially.

The Junior Cheetah® Xplore has been developed by the world-leading prosthetic provider Össur. They have used the same carbon composite construction as the adult Cheetah products, inspired by the hind legs of the fastest cat in the world.

However, the prosthesis has been adapted to suit the demands and rigours of everyday life for a child, with a smaller, thinner blade and more flexibility.

Össur also positioned a footplate on the bottom of the blade so that Rio’s prosthetist at Dorset Orthopaedic, Paul Neve, could cover it with a basic foam covering in order to create a foot.

The foot was one of the most important elements for Rio as he can now fit in with all his friends and wear a pair of shoes when he plays with his friends or a pair of trainers in P.E. at school.

Paul Neve, explains the importance of the footplate: ‘The footplate creates a huge advantage as Rio now has a heel. This means that he can walk heel-toe, heel-toe, rather than only being able to bounce on the blade.’

The foot gives the blade the capacity to allow the user to stand still rather than constantly bouncing from the spring that you would encounter with the original model. Rio can run, jump, stand, walk and play! In addition, the blade’s carbon construction means the blade is lightweight;

“The key thing is that it is a lightweight high activity leg. It will flex and bounce back with an element of springiness. Rio will get back almost 100% of the energy he puts into the blade, making it very efficient for any of his activities.” (Prosthetist, Paul Neve).

Rio has a huge interest in running and is always pushing himself further. Now he can go faster as it will respond to the energy he puts into it.

“Rio is thrilled to have a ‘Rio’ leg based on his favourite film and we are also delighted to announce we’ve been invited to Rio 2016 as special guests. This is one of Rio’s biggest dreams come true!” (Juliette Woolf)

Chairman of Dorset Orthopaedic, Bob Watts remarked: “We’ll look forward to seeing what Rio can do with his Jonnie Peacock special!”

About Dorset Orthopaedic

As one of the UK’s leading providers of prosthetic, orthotic, silicone and rehabilitation services, Dorset Orthopaedic has the size, strength and skills to help clients live life without limits. With experience meeting the needs of complex cases and recognition as a world leader in silicone skin solutions, Dorset Orthopaedic is passionate about delivering exceptional products and support.

Accessibility Tools

Discover more from Enable Magazine

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading