2022 WheelPower National Junior Games - Achieving our personal best

Personal bests achieved at life changing wheelchair sports event

On June 28 2022 WheelPower welcomed 115 disabled children to Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Buckinghamshire for the annual National Junior Games. They travelled to the Birthplace of the Paralympic Movement alongside parents, carers and school groups from right across the UK to take part in this life changing sports event which returned to the calendar for the first time following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hosted by WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, this 4 day event provided new and exciting opportunities to discover and try 15 different wheelchair sports, that this year included basketball, tennis, powerchair football, table tennis, shooting, wheelchair rugby, swimming, archery, boccia, table tennis, badminton, fencing, hand cycling and canoeing.

Supported by a fantastic group of volunteers and coaches from the various governing bodies the event was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who took part. Young disabled people like 17 year old Ayden from Surrey who had a week to remember. “I’ve been in a wheelchair for a year and I never thought I would be able to do all of these different types of sport and activities, and the Junior Games has shown me that I can actually do everything a walking person can do. Sport makes me feel independent and freeing, so finding out about this event has been life changing. My mum said hasn’t seen me this happy since 2018.”

Another participant was 12 year old Peter from Derbyshire who told us, "This is my first time at the National Junior Games and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been really fun getting to know other people in wheelchairs who are doing the sports and my favourites are either table tennis or shooting. It’s just a really fun atmosphere to be in and all the activities are really accessible for everyone. And I will definitely be back next year!"

Sue from High Wycombe is mum to 10 year old Orla who has Cerebral Palsy. She said, “It’s been an emotional and amazing event to be involved in. To see all these children doing their best across all these different sports has been fantastic and so inspiring for Orla. After this week she is going to take away so much more awareness of what can be achieved, which will be great for Orla in the future. I would highly recommend coming along next year. Thank you WheelPower.”

Latest research from Activity Alliance shows that disabled people have been disproportionality affected by the pandemic so the return of events such as the WheelPower National Junior Games are now of even greater importance, to provide opportunities to be more active and play sport, and help to improve health and wellbeing of disabled people across the United Kingdom.

Natalie Taylor from Sir William Ramsay School, Hazelmere, Buckinghamshire:

“We brought five disabled students aged between 11-15 to the Games this year and it’s great to see our students get the opportunities they don’t get every day. The students absolutely love coming along and go on about it the whole year, and of course really missed it during the Covid years. The hand cycling has been their favourite sport and after an hour here they just keep going around the track. It’s the best day of the year so far!”

Martin McElhatton WheelPower Chief Executive:

“After the last few years, it was emotional to see our National Junior Games back at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and I can honestly say that it made me so very proud. When we measure the impact of sport and physical activity it is vital that we see the wider impact on the disabled person, their family and their lives and it has been lovely to hear so much positivity about the Games from them all. WheelPower would like to say a huge thanks to all involved, our wonderful volunteers, the sports associations and governing bodies and donors including our new partner The Kentown Wizard Foundation.”

Margaret Ingram CEO of The Kentown Wizard Foundation:

"This is an extraordinary event which enables young disabled people to discover a passion for sport in an inclusive and welcoming environment. After two very difficult years, the return of the National Junior Games is a cause for celebration and we are proud to offer our support. The ethos of the Games to “Achieve Your Personal Best” aligns very closely to our own ethos and we hope that for the young people who attend, the benefits are long lasting and maybe even life changing. Above all, we hope they all had a lot of fun."

Award Winners

The Progress, Outstanding Effort and Personality Award:

  • Orla Brash 
  • Peter Berriman

The Andy Wallace Award for Outstanding Achievement: 

  • Nancy Jubb
  • Maurice Fitz Gerald

Photos Now AVAILABLE

National Junior Games 2022

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Thank you to everyone who supported the 2022 National Junior Games as we returned after a 2 year absence. Thank you to our amazing  coaches, volunteers, staff teams at WheelPower and Stoke Mandeville Stadium, and all of you who joined us over this life changing week. 

We will soon be announcing the date for the 2023 National Junior Games. Watch this space and we hope to see you again in 2023!

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