This article was first published in the APCP Newsletter 1-2-21
WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport has been supporting disabled people to stay active for over 70 years. From our home here at Stoke Mandeville Stadium we provide opportunities for people of all ages to take part in sport and benefit from physical activity. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that unfortunately events such as the National Junior Games and our regional sports camps have been cancelled, so in response to these changes we began creating online resources to help disabled people to stay active from their homes. Since March 2020 we have hosted 60 live classes, created 36 exercises videos and now have recently launched a new series of 10 exercise videos for Young People.
What inspired you to create these videos?
The exercise series for Young People includes 10 new workouts, aimed specifically at primary and secondary aged disabled children. We hope that these videos will assist parents and teachers with the provision of PE during the latest lockdown, and provide new and exciting opportunities for disabled children to stay fit and healthy during this challenging period. “During these workouts, I hope to make exercise fun and exciting, whilst simultaneously working on exercising our upper body muscles, helping to keep us fit and active. You do not need any specialised equipment to take part in these exercises, as all the props used in each video will be readily available in every household." (Ella Beaumont, GB U25 Wheelchair Basketball)
How did you develop the ideas?
The new resources from WheelPower have developed over the past year as we adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges our mission remains the same and we will continue to provide new opportunities for disabled people to keep active. With schools closed once again we wanted to create new content for disabled children, and with the support of our fantastic instructor Ella Beaumont 10 new themed exercises videos have been released and can now be enjoyed on our website and YouTube channel.
How do you hope children and young people will benefit from these?
“Sport and Physical Activity is vital for young disabled people and WheelPower is delighted to support their physical and mental wellbeing by providing these new online Exercise Videos featuring Ella Beaumont. The Covid-19 pandemic has been hugely challenging for disabled children and their families and we hope that these videos will enable them to exercise at home during lockdown and provide access to fun, inclusive exercise delivered by Ella who is a fantastic role model.”
(Martin McElhatton OBE, WheelPower Chief Executive)