Next month Stoke Mandeville Stadium is hosting the nationally renowned Inter Spinal Unit Games from 8-12 April 2019, organised by the national Charity for wheelchair sport, WheelPower to transform the lives of disabled people through sport. The highest number of spinal units and participants ever recorded are set to attend this year.
We caught up with author of a new book, Into the Frame, to chat about his love for wheelchair fencing. Jonathan David Collins spoke to our editor and is keen to promote the sport as it helps boost physical and mental health and wellbeing – yet few people know it even exists.
Jonathan said: “I was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and I have been in a wheelchair since I was 18 months old.
“I used to do a bit of swimming but due to an operation I had, it was advised I gave it up.
“A friend of mine who was a wheelchair fencer fenced at a club near me, so I went to the club and became hooked on it when I started to learn.”
New research shows that the significance of sport to the Essex economy is comparable with other industries including burdening creative industries in driving employment growth. Over 11,000 new jobs in sports and leisure could be created, to add to the 21,400 already employed in the sector.
Active Essex, the county sports partnership for Greater Essex, and Creative Sport & Leisure Ltd, specialists in apprenticeships and work-based learning, have unveiled a new Sport Skills Strategy and Action Plan based on new research that identifies the need to develop a highly skilled, dynamic and diverse workforce in the sport and leisure sector.
Special Olympics & Play Unified Help 30,000 Young People Fight Intolerance in First Two Years
Play Unified, a Special Olympics GB campaign delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, is celebrating a second successful year fighting intolerance in schools across the UK - reaching almost 30,000 young people nationwide, enough to fill a football stadium!
The Special Olympics campaign aims to change perceptions of and end intolerance towards young people with intellectual disabilities (ID), such as the fact 8 in 10 experience bullying. It aims to strengthen leadership and sport participation pathways for young people with intellectual disabilities and develop inclusive environments in schools through sport.
Two siblings are celebrating a decade of being in the saddle, thanks to an inspirational riding programme that opened the door to a fantastic new opportunity.
Accessibility Mark centres are assisting charities to inspire disabled people to participate in new activities, helping them to realise their potential and succeed beyond their perceived limitations.
Riding for the Disabled Association, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation’s participation programme, launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.
For some this opportunity ignites a passion that leads to more than just attending a riding centre for an occasional group lesson.
The Crystal Palace Foundation are to feature in a new national TV short film to highlight their work around disability sport.
BT Sport visited one of its centres in Purley on Wednesday evening to hear how Matt, a lifelong Crystal Palace FC fan with Tourette syndrome and ADHD, has benefited from their power chair football sessions. Matt and his team mates were joined by Crystal Palace players Wilfred Zaha, Julian Speroni and Jason Puncheon, as well as Academy and Women’s team players on Wednesday night at Waddon Leisure Centre, to take in a session.
The Crystal Palace FC Foundation powerchair football team has been given a lifeline, thanks to a new funding programme which will secure its future and allow it to expand.
The team was set up three years ago and plays in the Wheelchair Football Association’s south-east league. Powerchair football is a four-a-side, non-contact sport that can be played by both genders and all ages – the age range in Palace’s team is from nine to 46.
Donations from Crystal Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni’s testimonial fund and Palace fan Graham Finch, along with the Robert Eaton Memorial Fund, have helped pay for equipment, but with each chair costing upwards of £6,000 and transport costs to cover on top of that, it was becoming difficult to fund the team.
Elaine Ball, a 62-year-old from Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, has been named as Wyre Forest’s most inspiring and dedicated sport and fitness role model after being shortlisted as a national finalist for The Gym Group’s Unsung Heroes of Sport & Fitness Awards. The awards seek to recognise incredible individuals in the local community who have motivated women to enjoy the benefits of physical activity.
Elaine has become a pillar of the community after she launched a range of exercise classes for women over the age of 55 in the Wyre Forest area. Her classes are highly popular and especially designed to meet the needs of older members of the community with a wide range of music to get more women, more active.
World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is a relatively new body established in 2015 in order to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to play snooker competitively.
A sport with few barriers to disabled players, snooker was included in the Paralympics as recently as 1988 and there is now a renewed push to see the sport return to the elite stage.
The work of the WDBS is a key part of this ambition and with the support of parent company the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (the sport’s world governing body) already three events have been staged across the UK since November 2015.
With the Rio 2016 Paralympics approaching let’s look back at the success of the London 2012 games. The 2012 Paralympics was one of the most engaging events in the past five years due to its digital strategy.
The Success of the London Paralympics
The Telegraph has called the 2012 Paralympics “most successful in history” as it was astounding commercial success. The London event was the first Paralympics in history to succeed in sell-out ticket success. Millions came to watch the favourite Paralympic athletes perform in the UK capital.
Third Stoke Mandeville In2 Sport Camp on Saturday 2nd July 2016, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury
The In2 Sport Camp is for those aged 18+ with a physical impairment. The camp will provide the opportunity to receive coaching in a number of sports. Provisional sports include archery, basketball, boccia, cue sports, field athletics, new age kurling, shooting, table tennis and tennis.
Timings for the weekend are Saturday 10:00 – 17:00.
The entry fee is £9.00.
The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) supports a wide range of organisations to include disabled people more effectively. The vision is that disabled people are active for life.
The EFDS website features a blog post every Friday, and in 2016 it is taking a look at an A-Z of accessible sporting and fitness opportunities available to disabled people.