Many thousands of men, women and children become disabled due to an accident or illness every year and WheelPower organises activities designed to transform their lives through sport.
WheelPower is the owner of the national disability sport centre at Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games in 1948. Stoke Mandeville Stadium now provides modern accessible facilities including: Athletics Arena, Sports Hall, Indoor Bowls Centre, Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre together with on site accommodation for visiting disabled athletes and officials.
Ade Adepitan MBE and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, two of Britain’s most famous wheelchair athletes were introduced to sport at WheelPower’s Junior Events. Ade, who plays wheelchair basketball, won a bronze medal at the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004 and a gold medal in the Basketball World Cup in Manchester in 2005.
Tanni is Britain’s most successful Paralympian, winning a total of 14 Paralympic medals 9 of which are gold and breaking 30 world records. Both Tanni and Ade are Ambassadors of WheelPower’s work and fantastic role models for young disabled people everywhere.
There are a wide range of sports that wheelchair users can play such as archery, athletics, wheelchair basketball, cue sports, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair road racing, fencing, handcycling, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis and tennis. There are also a number of winter sports including wheelchair curling, sledge hockey and skiing where people use specially designed equipment to participate. Anyone with a disability can get involved in wheelchair sports; all they need to do is choose the one they enjoy the most and is the most suitable for them physically and technically and WheelPower will help them achieve their sporting goals.
Why is sport important?
Sport is vitally important for newly disabled people. Those experiencing a spinal cord injury or amputation can gain tremendous benefits from participation in sport. Sport not only helps physically, it also boosts confidence and helps restores self esteem. At a difficult time in someone’s life following a traumatic accident or injury sport can be a catalyst for a better quality of life.
Every year, WheelPower hold the Inter Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville, for the recently paralysed. Each spinal unit can enter a team of up to eight people to take part in the competition sports of Archery, Bowls, Shooting, Swimming and Table Tennis. In addition, there is an opportunity to have-a-go at many other sports. This year WheelPower will also host the first Amputee Games, an event to introduce wheelchair sport to amputees.
WheelPower organises a range of events for disabled children. These include Sports Camps, which give young disabled people the opportunity to try out and be coached in a number of sports. We also host the National Junior Games every September. This is a 5 day event for children aged 11-18 years to compete in 16 different sports.
How you can help
WheelPower receives no Government funding and relies on donations from individuals, companies and charitable trusts to fund our valuable work. There are a number of ways you can help:
How to contact WheelPower
Stoke Mandeville Stadium