Emily was one of 40 local people to attend the Wiltshire Wheelchair Sports Festival in March 2023. She is 32 years old and from Winchester and thoroughly enjoyed her day with WheelPower. This is Emily’s story …

“I am a wheelchair user for 98% of the time, standing and walking makes me feel very ill because of my medical condition called POTS. At the moment I go to wheelchair dance and wheelchair rugby, and unfortunately I have recently had to stop wheelchair karate.”

“Sport and fitness is so important to me for many reasons. I’ve always enjoyed playing and watching lots of different sports. I really enjoy exercise because I’m competitive, I like getting stronger and I enjoy the endorphins.”

“Wheelchair rugby is a great sport to play and to watch. I decided to try it because non-wheelchair rugby is one of my favourite sports to watch and I thought I would like it. I started playing with Solent Sharks nearly 2 years ago, it turns out it’s not much like the non-wheelchair version, but I’ve really enjoyed learning all the rules and getting better at the game. I’ve also got a lot stronger since starting!”

“The Online Exercise Classes from WheelPower were a life saver during lockdown”

“I first heard about WheelPower in 2020 and started to attend the Online Exercise Classes soon after. I think my favourite thing about the classes is the friendly atmosphere and the sense of community. It was life saver during the lockdowns! I definitely built up my upper body strength with online classes in the first 18 months of the pandemic, and that helped me to become confident enough to try wheelchair sports when the world started to open up again.”

The Wiltshire Festival

“I was really excited to come along to the festival and to try lots of new sports. Everyone was friendly and I met people in person who I had only met on screen at the zoom classes. I ended up exchanging phone numbers with a couple of people in my group too which was really nice. Of all the sports on the day I loved trying basketball and tennis, and fencing was really good too. The sports wheelchairs move so differently to my day chair.”

“I really enjoyed the event and I would definitely recommend WheelPower sports festivals to anyone who wants to try out some wheelchair sports, meet like minded people and have a good day out. Thank you for organising days like these, and I’m already looking forward to the next one near me!”

A parents perspective

“Emily is very active and bright and keen to get involved in more sport. She’s always been enthusiastic about sport and she gets a lot of buzz from the friendships she’s made from doing all sorts of activities. I think she is going to take away many more commitments and hopefully some friendships as well. And as a parent I would for sure recommend it. I love coming to these kinds of events as everyone’s so pleased to be here, smiling and having fun which is great to see.”