Relaxing day had by all at the WheelPower Healthy Living Day
On Saturday 21 May WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, welcomed a group of disabled people to Stoke Mandeville Stadium to experience a variety of fitness classes from Yoga to Tai Chi.
Supported by Sport England and the National Disability Sports Organisations (LimbPower, CP Sport and Dwarf Sports Association) the event was the first of its kind to take place after the COVID-19 pandemic and it brought together physically disabled people and a group of qualified fitness coaches, many of whom had only met online via zoom before.
Emily Weller, Head of Sport at WheelPower said:
“After a challenging couple of years for the charity, it was great to invite disabled people to Stoke Mandeville Stadium for an in person event. Our online exercise classes have been a real success during the pandemic and provided hundreds of disabled people with the opportunity to stay active as well as making new friends with others across the UK. Our first Healthy Living Day saw many of these people join us here at the Birthplace of the Paralympic Movement to exercise together, face to face.”
Nina Boswell-Brown, wheelchair Yoga instructor and nutrition coach said:
“The best part of the day was being able to connect with people in-person, to have a little more two-way communication and just enjoy the experience of being in a room together. Movement, relaxation and nutrition are really important in our everyday lives and allow us to keep healthy and happy in the long-term.”
“Many were trying chair yoga for the first time and it was good to get a closer look and ‘feel’ for how people are experiencing it. Everyone was very engaged and they had lots of great questions and insights/experience to share which was really positive. I hope that this type of event can take place again in the future because the more we can do and learn in an enjoyable environment with others, the better I say.”
Liv Chapman, Wobble Instructor said:
“I was very happy to have been asked to lead a class for WheelPower at their Healthy Living Day. The day was a success and everyone who came along and got stuck in! There was a good variety of activities and something for everyone! My class was a Wobble class (seated exercise to music) which the participants really enjoyed. As it was also my first time ever teaching Wobble, the class was well received everyone made me feel really welcome. I look forward to working with WheelPower in the future and will continue to help support at any upcoming events.”
It is hoped that this event will pave the way for similar Healthy Living Days in the future, providing new opportunities nationwide for disabled people to come along and enjoy fitness together.
The Healthy Living Day was delivered with support of the Sport England Together Fund. The Together Fund is a continuation of the Tackling Inequalities Fund that was set up in April 2020 as part of WheelPower's support package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the COVID-19 crisis. It saw another £20 million of National Lottery committed to helping the disproportionately affected groups that were affected by the pandemic, and significantly impacted their ability to be physically active.