Get set for WheelPower National Junior Games

WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, is hosting the 2022 National Junior Games next week after a three year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Games will take place at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympic movement from June 28 to July 1 as more than 110 physically disabled children (aged 11 – 18), their families, teachers and carers, from all over the UK come together to enjoy three days of sporting fun.

Organised annually since the 1980s, thousands of children and young disabled people have discovered their passion for sport, supporting them to live a healthier and more active life as a result.

The event has also played a pivotal role in the development of many Paralympic GB stars, such as Alfie Hewett (tennis) Jess Stretton (archery), Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and David Weir (athletics) who all took part in the games on their way to sporting success.

During the week, the participants will try a variety of sports, from wheelchair basketball to swimming, handcycling to table tennis and many more.

In 2022, the ethos of the Games will be to ‘Achieve your Personal Best’ and through a series of fun challenges, and with the support of experienced and qualified coaches the children will develop their own skills and talents for sport.

Following the pandemic, the return of events such as the National Junior Games are now of even greater importance.

Latest research from Activity Alliance shows that disabled people have been disproportionality 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).

Martin McElhatton, WheelPower chief executive, said: “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 best will help physically disabled children to discover a sport and activities they love and build upon their confidence by taking part.

“It is going to be a fantastic week and everyone at WheelPower is really excited to be able to host this life changing event once again.” 

For more information about this year’s event visit https://www.wheelpower.org.uk/sport-events/national-junior-games-2022

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