WheelPower National Junior Games return to Aylesbury after three-year hiatus

WheelPower’s National Junior Games returns after a three-year absence, showcasing wheelchair sport.

By James Lowson
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 12:12 pm

The games will take place at Stoke Mandeville Stadium from June 28 to July 1 as over 110 physically disabled children (aged 11 – 18) will compete.

Young athletes from all over the country will be competing at the birthplace of the Paralympics.

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Wheelchair racing

The Games have been taking place annually since the 1980s and over these years thousands of children and young disabled people have discovered their passion for sport.

It is designed as an event to teach youngsters the value of living a healthier more active life as a result.

Previous competitors include some of the UK’s most decorated sports stars: multiple-time grand slam tennis champion Alfie Hewett, and Paralympic champions, Jess Stretton, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and David Weir.

Wheelchair basketball, photo by Roger Bool

Visitors can witness participants trying their hand at a variety of sports including wheelchair basketball, handcycling, swimming table tennis and much more.

This year the ethos of the games is to ‘achieve your personal best’.

Competitors will be supported by experienced and qualified coaches who will help them develop their own skills and talents for sport.

Latest research from Activity Alliance shows that disabled people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic:

77% of disabled people want to be more active. Only 3 in 10 (28%) disabled people feel encouraged to return to being active, compared to 50% of non-disabled people. Disabled people are less likely to look forward to taking part in face-to-face activities (30% vs 44% of non-disabled people).

Daniel from Cumbria said: “The Games have allowed me to really break through my own personal boundaries and explore new sporting adventures that I’d never experience where I live. They have definitely changed my life.”

More information is available on the Wheel Power website.

Martin McElhatton, WheelPower chief executive added: “We love seeing the joy and love for sport that shines through during the Games and we are delighted that following the pandemic they can now return.

"The introduction of a new format focussed on personal bests will help physically disabled children to discover a sport and activities they love and build upon their confidence by taking part.”