British Wheelchair Sports – Case Studies
The National Junior Games,which took place at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, featured on ITV news earlier this week. We wish to demonstrate how sports can aid disabled people in building confidence and aspirations, in addition to improving both mental and physical health.
Here’s one of a set of case studies from participants and their parents who give their own personal accounts of how the Games have benefited them both mentally and physically.
Alex Towns-Phil, Age 17 years
What’s your first experience of coming to the Junior Games?
“It’s been different, usually when you go on trips they don’t give you as much freedom to do what you want, but here they let you try different types of sports. I’ve tried shooting, archery, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair cricket, I’ve tried a multitude of different sports so I’m happy that I took the opportunity to come.”
When you were offered the chance to come did you know what to expect?
“I wasn’t sure, I thought it was like a sports day with all different types of schools, I didn’t realise that everyone was so diverse, different and I don’t know how to explain it but everyone is open to talk to each other and they are not shy or anything, so it’s a help”.
“I’m still new to the Village (school) and getting to know people, so for me to come here has helped me come out of my shell and talk to everyone.”
What about the social side of the event?
“That’s been good, everyone is communicating with each other, even people from different schools, I’ve met a whole lot of different kids and whenever I see them they say “hi, how are you”, even with the staff as well.”
You’ve been helping other people as well?
“Yeah whenever I see a sport that I want to do, I make sure that someone is doing it with me, so I bring three or from my school and if I see anyone sitting on the side I’ll tell them to come as well.”
What sports have you enjoyed that you didn’t know about?
“All the wheelchair ones, they are fun but really competitive. I’ve been playing wheelchair basketball all day yesterday and all day today. It’s tiring because you have to wheel the wheelchairs and you have to scream at everyone to get into position, but yeah it’s fun.”
What other sports have you done?
“I did shooting but I wasn’t really good at it, I had three shots and I thought nah not anymore for me.”