WheelPower Inter Spinal Unit Games 2024

Event Details


23 to 27 September 2024




Stoke Mandeville Stadium
Guttmann Road
HP21 9PP
United Kingdom

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The WheelPower Inter Spinal Unit Games are held annually at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and form an essential part of many spinal patients’ rehabilitation.

Over 100 patients and 60 support staff from fourteen Spinal Injury Centres and Specialist Units across the United Kingdom come together for a week of sport and activity at the Birthplace of the Paralympic Movement.

Patients receive coaching and demonstrations from current leading wheelchair sports athletes and coaches in a variety of sports which include archery, rugby, athletics, fencing, basketball, powerlifting, boccia, swimming, shooting and tennis.

During the event they experience first-hand what can be achieved, both in terms of sport and an independent lifestyle and discover the tremendous benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.

The Games are sometimes a participant’s first experience outside a hospital environment since their injury, and provide a pathway to finding out the tremendous benefits that sport and physical activity can have on people’s lives.

Helen participating in a seated throw javelin competition

"The Inter Spinal Unit Games have really inspired me! I have a new ambition, and can see how staying active and healthy through accessible sports can give me that drive that I need to get out of the house and meet new people." Ben, Southport

"Get here, 100 per cent, don’t miss it! It is a great opportunity to get into sports, there is so many to try. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough to anyone, I think it’s a fantastic event and I would definitely encourage everyone to come to try it out." Chris, Stanmore​

2022 Flickr Album 

Please note: The Inter Spinal Unit Games are for current spinal patients connected to a spinal unit. Teams are selected by the units and their physical activity advisors. 

If you are an adult who isn’t in a Spinal Unit but would like to try out a range of sports then check out our Sports Festivals, a great alternative to the Inter Spinal Unit Games.

WheelPower Sports Festivals

Upcoming dates:

  • Thursday 9 November – London (Stanmore)
  • Thursday 7 December – Buckinghamshire (Stoke Mandeville Stadium)
  • Wednesday 31 January – Yorkshire (Sheffield)
  • February – Wiltshire (Tidworth)
  • March – Merseyside (Venue TBC)

by Martin McElhatton OBE – Chief Executive of WheelPower

When I first started at WheelPower in 1988 I recall that Jean Stone MBE, the Sports Administrator for the charity and Harry Metcalfe the remedial gymnast at National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville came up with the concept of organising a competition between spinal units, very much linked to the origins of the Paralympic Movement and the first Stoke Mandeville Games held in July 1948.

Photo: © Graham Bool Photography

The new Inter Spinal Unit Games were supported by the Marchday Charitable Fund and brought together patients and staff from Spinal Units around the United Kingdom with an invitation also extended to the Spinal Unit in Dublin, Ireland. Each team of up to eight participants had the chance to try a range of sports and enter in competitions to win the coveted Marchday Shield for the winning Unit.

Over the years the Games have become a regular feature in WheelPower’s calendar and whilst the emphasis is on participation, raising awareness of what sports are available for people with Spinal Cord Injuries and a great social event, there have also been a number of participants who have gone on to compete in national tournaments and several who have become Paralympians.

Photo: © Graham Bool Photography

2023 will be the 34th edition of the Inter Spinal Unit Games and with an estimated 1,500 paralysed each year they still hold an important role in the rehabilitation of people with a spinal cord injury. The Games have helped thousands of people during the past 34 years and the thrill of finding something as positive as sport can be for newly paralysed people is what moves WheelPower to continue to provide this life transforming event for many years to come.

The Jean Stone trophy will be awarded to the spinal unit with the highest number of points accumulated from taster sessions and competitions.

Three points will be awarded to spinal units for each sport they experience during the week. The majority of these sports will be available as taster sessions throughout the event. Points will be awarded for the top three placed individuals within each competition as follows:

  • First place = 10 points
  • Second place = 6 points
  • Third place = 4 points

The 2022 winners were the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre from Salisbury, Wiltshire.

  • 1988 Odstock
  • 1989 Stoke Mandeville
  • 1990 Lodge Moor / Musgrave Park
  • 1991 Odstock
  • 1992 Stoke Mandeville
  • 1993 Pinderfields
  • 1994 Odstock
  • 1995 Odstock
  • 1996 Stoke Mandeville
  • 1997 Dublin
  • 1998 Stoke Mandeville
  • 1999 Stoke Mandeville
  • 2000 Sheffield
  • 2001 Dublin
  • 2002 Dublin
  • 2003 Stoke Mandeville
  • 2004 Dublin
  • 2005 Dublin
  • 2006 Rookwood
  • 2007 Stoke Mandeville
  • 2008 Salisbury
  • 2009 Glasgow
  • 2010 Stoke Mandeville
  • 2011 Sailsbury
  • 2012 Salisbury
  • 2013 Salisbury
  • 2014 Glasgow
  • 2015 Salisbury
  • 2016 Stoke Mandeville
  • 2017 Salisbury
  • 2018 Salisbury
  • 2019 Pinderfields
  • 2022 Salisbury
Team Salisbury 2022 Inter Spinal Unit Games Winners

There will be over 20 sports to try at the 2023 Inter Spinal Unit Games! 

Helen preparing to serve in a wheelchair tennis game

  • Archery
  • Athletics (Track and Field)
  • Badminton
  • Boccia
  • Bowls
  • Canoeing
  • Curling
  • Fencing
  • Golf
  • Handcycling

Hand cyclist smiling to camera

  • Para Ice Hockey
  • Powerlifting
  • Rowing
  • Shooting
  • Swimming
  • Sitting Volleyball
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Wheelchair Basketball
  • Wheelchair Racing
  • Wheelchair Rugby

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