The home of the Paralympic Games hosts the science of wheelchair sport
19 June 2012
Stoke Mandeville Stadium, where the Paralympic Games originated in 1948, was the setting for researchers from Loughborough University to provide the public a rare insight into the life of a Paralympic athlete.
Over 100 attendees at the Pushing to London 2012 event tried out a range of activities including learning wheelchair handling skills, discussions on healthy eating habits, the benefits of physical activity and had a go at wheelchair basketball under the watchful eye of a women’s GB wheelchair basketball player Emily Scrivener.
Other practical elements included a ‘Top Gear’ competition on how fast a sport specific drill could be completed in a wheelchair. Signed GB wheelchair rugby- and basketballs were awarded to the ‘Top Gear’ winners and to the winner of the quiz which was designed to highlight all the research displays and activities.
The event also gave visitors the opportunity to find out about Loughborough’s latest research in this area and the sports science supporting Britain’s Paralympic athletes.
There are an estimated 10 million people with a physical disability in Britain. Over four million of these people are under state pension age and around 700,000 are children.
Recent Sport England figures show only 6% of people with a disability regularly take part in sport, compared to 18% of able bodied people. Organisers are hoping to use interest in the London 2012 Paralympic Games to help increase this figure.
Loughborough University’s Dr Vicky Tolfrey explains: "We hope this event will not only give visitors an insight into the life of a Paralympic athlete, but will also encourage them to take up a new sport or increase their physical activity levels."
For further information on Pushing to London 2012 or Loughborough University’s work on disability sport please contact Vicky Tolfrey - V.L.Tolfrey@lboro.ac.uk or visit : http://www.peterharrisoncentre.org.uk/.
Loughborough University was selected to be part of the Knowing Sport public engagement programme that forms part of the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS 2012).
ICSEMIS 2012 will bring together the world’s leading scientists, academics and researchers in disciplines related to sport in advance of the 2012 Games. Knowing Sport run by the Scottish Government, Podium and ICSEMIS 2012 aims to engage the public with science, research and the academic disciplines related to sport using the excitement and interest generated by the Games.
To book your place to attend ICSEMIS 2012 (19th-24th July 2012) please click here.
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