Sport Town

A charity in Aylesbury Vale readies to host paralyzed hospital patients at a major sports event.

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Aylesbury Vale-based charity, WheelPower, is gearing up to host its annual Inter Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville. Over 75 participants from across the UK will attend, marking their first venture outside the hospital following life-altering spinal cord injuries.

Since 1988, these games have been held at the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement, upholding the legacy of founder Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann by offering sports and activities to aid patient rehabilitation.

Spanning four days, attendees will explore 20 sports, including wheelchair basketball, curling, wheelchair rugby, tennis, rowing, wheelchair racing, shooting, hand cycling, and wheelchair fencing. These activities unfold across the Stoke Mandeville Stadium site, featuring taster sessions and competitions while fostering a community for participants to share experiences and advice.

WheelPower has nurtured future GB athletes, like Paralympic medalist Sammi Kinghorn, British rower Benjamin Pritchard, and GB Para-Powerlifting record holder Liam McGarry. These athletes credit the Inter Spinal Unit Games as their introduction to sports from a wheelchair, acknowledging the event’s life-transforming impact.

WheelPower’s CEO, Martin McElhatton, stressed the ongoing significance of the Games in rehabilitating those with spinal cord injuries, noting that with approximately 1,500 people paralyzed each year, these events continue to play a pivotal role in their recovery and fostering a positive connection with sports.

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