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Juniors get sporty at WheelPower Games

This week lots of disabled young people teamed up to enjoy an array of sport at WheelPower's National Junior Games. The four day festival was held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Buckinghamshire. Aged between 11 and 18 years old, 150 juniors took part.

The Games are run by the national charity for wheelchair sport- WheelPower- and supported by the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity. Beginning on Monday 23 September, they ran until Thursday 26 September. Participants travelled from as far as Cumbria, Blackpool and Plymouth to be there, with 15 schools and groups entered.

Stewart Jeeves, the sports development officer for WheelPower said:

“There has been a great atmosphere here with lots of new and lasting friendships being formed and lots of new skills being learnt. This is the biggest event in our calendar, and it’s been a huge success. Everyone has really got involved in all the sports available. For instance, the Zone Hockey final on Tuesday night had an audience of about 70 children crowded round the sides.”

Among the sports on offer, there was wheelchair basketball, table tennis, table cricket, archery, powerchair football, field and track athletics, powerlifting, snooker, zone hockey and pool.

Ian Barham, manager of Buckinghamshire Legacy- the partnership set up to keep the Olympic and Paralympic spirit alive in the county- said:

“I’m delighted these games have gone so well. Bucks is the spiritual birthplace of the Paralympics and it’s fantastic to see this legacy still exists with young people travelling from all over the UK to play sport in our county.”

For further information, please contact Stewart Jeeves, WheelPower’s Sports Development Officer on 07725207193. Results are available through WheelPower.

EFDS report finds young people want sport to be fun

On 9 September, an EFDS report on disabled people's lifestyles and participation in physical activity highlighted some notable findings for young disabled people:

  • 84% of young disabled people enjoyed the last time they played sport
  • 5 in 10 young disabled people state that lack of awareness of suitable opportunities is what prevents them from taking part in sport or physical activity.
  • Over half of disabled people surveyed (51 per cent) did not enjoy their experiences of sport in school, compared to 69 per cent enjoying taking part in sport or physical activity with friends outside of school.
  • Young disabled people are most likely to take part in sport or physical activity because it is fun
    • But are least likely to take part in sport or physical activity to get fit, healthy or to lose weight.
  • Young disabled people are most likely to say that a sports person is their role model, with 32% of those surveyed stating this.

Get Involved. Forthcoming events at Stoke Mandeville Stadium

  • The Limbpower National Games for amputee athletes. The 2013 event is the seventh annual edition and is taking place at Stoke Mandeville on 5-6 October
  • A Primary Sports Camp (Children 6-11)- 19 October
  • In2 Sport Camp (18-30) – 9- 10 November
  • Junior Sports Camp (Children 11-18) – 23- 24 November

Find out more about WheelPower and their range of opportunities for wheelchair users to try sport.