After attending the Buckinghamshire Sports Festival in 2022 it was great to welcome back George from Berkshire for the week long National Junior Games...
Date: 30 June 2023
The National Junior Games is an annual event that has been taking place annually at Stoke Mandeville Stadium since the 1980’s. Organised by WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport this event brings together disabled children from across the country for a life changing week of sport and activity at the birthplace of the Paralympic movement.
From 27-30 June over 90 children aged from 11-18 took part in this fantastic event, and over the course of the week were able to try 19 different sports and achieve their personal best scores through a variety of fun and exciting challenges. Taking place across the Stoke Mandeville Stadium site were the following sports; wheelchair basketball, tennis, powerchair football, boccia, fencing, athletics, handcycling, rowing, swimming, boccia and canoeing (to name a few)
This event is supported by a fantastic group of sports coaches from the National Governing Bodies alongside some brilliant local volunteers who encourage the children to give everything a try and develop their skills. As well as the sport this is very much a social event where friendships and contacts are made so that everyone involved is able to continue their sporting journey when they return home. One of the participants was 16 year old Lauren, who was at her first WheelPower games. She said, “It’s my first year here and its been amazing. I’ve tried pretty much every sport and all the coaches and volunteers have been so good. They have filled me with so much confidence and despite my initial nerves I even gave wheelchair fencing a go and absolutely loved it. Thank you WheelPower, it’s been an amazing opportunity.”
The Junior Games also provides many eye opening moments for parents and carers as they witness at first hand the amazing benefits that come from being active and playing wheelchair sport. Ellie is 10 and her mum said, “As a parent I’ve spent most of the time with a frog in my throat from all the emotion of watching Ellie do such varied things, and things I don’t think she ever thought she’d be able to do. She loved powerchair football and archery for example and we would never get access to that near where we are. Seeing Ellie smile so much was a true gift and we can’t thank WheelPower enough for making our year. And that’s no exaggeration.”
This is an extraordinary event which enables young disabled people to discover a passion for sport in an inclusive and welcoming environment. With an ethos, to ‘achieve your personal best’ that closely aligns with our own ethos, we are extremely proud to offer our support once again. We have no doubt that the 2023 event will have a long-lasting, positive impact on the lives of the young people taking part and will be a huge success.” Margaret Ingram CEO - The Kentown Wizard Foundation
“With thanks to the wonderful support from The Kentown Wizard Foundation WheelPower were able to provide 90 disabled children with the opportunity to try 19 sports at the National Junior Games last week at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. There was an amazing atmosphere with lots of smiles and personal best achievements by the participants, a truly memorable week of sport and activity which will inspire the youngsters to continue to play and enjoy sport in the future.” Martin McElhatton OBE, Chief Executive of WheelPower.
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The life changing memories that come from taking part in the WheelPower National Junior Games would not be possible without the generosity of our supporters. Thank you to the Kentown Wizard Foundation for their support this year, and for helping us to transform the lives of 90 disabled children through sport.