Back in December WheelPower hosted its final Sports Festival of 2023 at the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, Stoke Mandeville Stadium. One of the participants who joined us on the day was 21 years old Archie from Faversham. This is their story … 

“So I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and a neuro thing too, which means I’ve not got alot of leg function and sensation. I’m now a full time chair user and have come along today with my mum and her brother Shaun.”

I currently play wheelchair rugby for Canterbury and that’s been really good. Its fun to be able to get on and do something. I also like that its a contact sport because lots of disability sports are non-contact. Our coach is former GB Paralympian Steve Brown which is pretty cool. Getting to learn from his experience is always helpful. As well as rugby I also enjoy WCMX at my local skatepark!

“It’s my first time at a WheelPower event and its been good. I’ve got to try different things and do things I wouldn’t normally do as well. I used to do lots of archery but it’s a lot trickier sat down and I couldn’t work it out for a while! Its a lot different to standing up but I got a couple in the gold and they were all close together which was good.”

“Being able to come along today and try different things has been great. The WheelPower Sports Festivals are particularly good if you haven’t got much near you so by signing up and trying these things it gives you more options. Where we live in Kent you have to go along way to find stuff sometimes.”

"My whole life has been sport and its felt so good to be able to come and do some at events like this. I’m hoping to get more into sport in the future and get to compete in something one day maybe"

A parents perspective 

“I’m here with Archie and my adopted brother Shaun. Its our first experience of a WheelPower event and its been so good. Shaun has really loved it and Archie is doing really too. Archie has gone from doing lots of able bodied sports to wheelchair sports, which has been a bit of a struggle but has been going really well. For Archie sport is everything.

They spend all of their time playing wheelchair rugby, maintaining rugby chairs, and they go to the skate park to do WCMX. Thankfully they have a good crash helmet! At the festival we’ve met lots of lovely people and seen lots of new sports. Everyone has been so supportive, and its been really nice experience for all of us.”