Supporting Wheelchair Users during Physical Activity

16 Apr 2020

These factsheets have been designed to support teachers and coaches to include wheelchair users within their PE lessons or sporting sessions. They provide ideas on how to run an inclusive sports session where disabled and non-disabled participants can take part side-by-side.


Factsheet 1:  Preparing for a session


The first factsheet provides an introduction to sports wheelchairs; how they differ from day chairs and how sports wheelchairs are unique to each sport. Transferring the participant from the day chair to a sports wheelchair is touched upon, along with the different types of straps available to keep participants safely within their wheelchair. Consideration is also given to sports venues to ensure they are appropriate and safe.


Factsheet 2:  Delivering the session


The second factsheet highlights the importance of focussing on what participants can do, as opposed to presuming their capabilities. Duty of care is referenced, in terms of being aware of common injuries occurred whilst participating in a wheelchair, and the type of terminology to use when communicating with a wheelchair user. Sensation, fatigue and temperature regulation are discussed, along with more specific guidance on rules, equipment and pushing technique.


Factsheet 3:  Participants


There are several different conditions resulting in reduced mobility or sensations. The third factsheet provides an overview of these, but it is important to be aware that no two participants are the same; and as such, the first step should always be to speak to the participant to understand their abilities and goals.


Factsheet 4:  Session plans


Each of the following session plans have been designed to equip teachers and coaches with the necessary information on how to run a sport session involving both wheelchair and non-wheelchair users. The session starts with a basic skill; this skill is then progressed to incorporate additional movement or technique. The session is concluded with a competition, where wheelchair users play alongside non-disabled participants.

  • Wheelchair tennis
  • Wheelchair basketball
  • Wheelchair rugby
  • Wheelchair badminton
  • Wheelchair table tennis
  • Wheelchair cricket
  • Generic warm-up and cool-downs
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