Kids' sporting chance
WheelPower, the National Charity for Wheelchair Sport, is hosting its annual National Junior Games 2019 from 30 September – 3 October at Stoke Mandeville Stadium – birthplace of the Paralympic Movement.
The primary focus of the Games is to encourage the disabled children who take part to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle, which improves mental and physical wellbeing.
In addition to giving the participants a chance to play and enjoy sport, the Games provide a platform for those with sporting talent (12-18 years old) to be identified and nurtured along the Paralympic pathway.
The 2019 Games coincides with the 50th anniversary year since Stoke Mandeville Stadium was first opened by The Queen in 1969. The stadium has hosted many events for young disabled people inspiring them to be active, play and compete in sport at all levels.
The national event is an opportunity for participants from various backgrounds to gain confidence in their abilities, meet new friends, and inspire each other with a new healthier and happier way of life through sharing life experiences and real-life stories.
Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive of WheelPower said: ‘WheelPower’s National Junior Games provide a wonderful opportunity for young disabled people to achieve their personal best, find a sport they love and inspire them to continue playing sport and being active throughout their lives.’
Previous National Junior Games participant, Alex Towns-Phill from the Village School in Kingsbury, London said: ‘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.’
The Games will combine have-a-go sessions with coaching from some of the country’s leading disability sports professionals, and competitions in a range of different age groups and sports. Sports and activities include; archery, athletics, wheelchair basketball, boccia, wheelchair fencing, golf, handcycling, polybat, powerlifting, wheelchair rugby, swimming, table games, table tennis, tennis and zone hockey.
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Youngsters at the stadium.