In 2023 the WheelPower Sports Festival visited four locations (Sheffield, Wiltshire, London and Buckinghamshire) and welcomed 151 participants. Lets hear from some of those who joined us … 

“I went to the first WheelPower Sports Festival in Sheffield and it was amazing! I had so much fun getting back into sport, and I tried golf, badminton, rugby and table tennis. Some of these sports I never thought would be possible for me to play but they were. Everybody who was there was extremely friendly and enthusiastic, and I even did an interview for the radio! Sport has always been really important to me and I’m so happy to be playing again. Thank you WheelPower.” Ava, from Wakefield 

“After an accident on my motorbike I broke my spine at T10 and have been rehabbing at Stoke Mandeville Hospital since July. These are events are very important, as you get to meet new people, do different stuff that you wouldn’t normally do. Sport gives you that bit of freedom to actually know you are able to do things you could do before injury. So grateful you are offering these opportunities out to me and other patients, keeping us progressing and making us better.” Nigel, 44 from Oxford

“It is my first time here and its been really fun. I’ve never done archery before and I managed to hit the bullseye which was amazing, Its just fun meeting other people I’ve never met before and getting my competitiveness on! I’m going to keep going with the rugby and after today I’m going to see if I can do archery in my area. I would definitely recommend it and I would bring you myself if I had to! Trish, 37 from Crawley

“I really like coming to the Festival because it makes me feel more normal because there’s lots of people like me here and I’m not the only child in a wheelchair. I like this because its more about sport than things I’ve done before. I like basketball and the thought of wheelchair rugby is very exciting, and getting tipped out of my chair!” Bella, 10 from Reading 

wheelpower sports festival

A parents/carers perspective

” My son William has been in a wheelchair for nearly a year. and recently diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder. Sport was a massive part of his life and this is all very new to us, but he has absolutely loved it! We have never done anything like this before and honestly its been absolutely brilliant. All you want is to see your child enjoying themselves and its been nice to talk to other parents too.” Debra, from Mansfield

“Bella has always been an outgoing and energetic little girl, so when she found out she was going to be in a wheelchair her biggest aim was to carry on doing all the things she would have done beforehand. Today has been brilliant and I would definitely recommend it. To give the opportunity to try the sports and see how they can be adapted is so important. Its been a brilliant event and its makes a massive difference to the children.” Kerry from Reading

“Sport and fitness is incredibly important to Charlotte. A year ago she would never have felt comfortable coming into an environment like this but now she doesn’t need me at all and she’s really blossomed. She has made lots of new friends and is absolutely buzzing. Things like this will boost her confidence to the next level and its absolutely vital. All of this for free, it’s worth so much and it’s been brilliant. Thank you.” Debbie, from Portsmouth

“Blair has spina bifida and is 5 years old. This is the first time we’ve come to anything like this, and I’ve never seen her move so much! She can do everything here, have a go and do it independently without asking me to come and takeover. I was crying earlier as I’ve never seen her like that before. It’s been an amazing day.” Shana from Sheffield. 


“Carmela (8) has taken a day off school to come along, so this is an alternative provision for her PE today. We have really enjoyed it and these events are so good for building up their self confidence and self esteem, but also making new friends and feeling part of the community. I’m learning through Carmela and I want to give all the opportunities I can to see what she can and cant do. Having everything in one place she can tick off, and we can then go forward and find clubs nearby.” Lucy from Market Lavington.

“My son Teddy is 8 years old and he has spina bifida. He was so excited to come today and is obsessed with sport and its on our tele 24/7! And he’s adamant he’s going to be playing wheelchair basketball at Brisbane 2032. It’s so good seeing him with people of a similar ages and abilities, and its so inspiring. He hasn’t stopped talking about how it was “the best day ever” and I can’t put into words how lovely that is.” Chloe from Aylesbury

“Wesley’s 11 and has cerebral palsy. He’s really interested in sport but accessing it has been a bit of a challenge, so events like this are fantastic for us to give him a taster of all sorts of things all under one roof. It’s been really nice watching him playing with kids of a similar age in theirs wheelchairs, and seeing him being so independent. I would absolutely recommend it. Hands down!” Catherine from Leeds