Thursday, 21 April 2011

Wheelchair Athletes Shine at Inter Spinal Unit Games

Approx 80 competitors from 13 spinal units across the UK tried their hand at a range of sports at the 24th Inter-Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. The event held next to Stoke Mandeville Hospital - the birthplace of the Paralympic movement - is held annually to promote a healthy and active lifestyle through sport for people who have been paralysed in the last year.
The games feature a mix of competition and ‘have-a-go’ sessions, allowing participants to experience a wide range of sports. Archery, table tennis, bowls, swimming and shooting were among the activities competitors could take part in.
Gerald Simonds Healthcare helped to sponsor The National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) team, from Stoke Mandeville Hospital, who came 2nd in the overall games, organised by the charity Wheelpower. The NSIC’s team competitors were, Luke Wright, Tim Jacobs, John Dunford, Phil Pain, Simon Pinnell, Nuno Santos, Paul Holgate and Sarah Thomas.
The team won 2 individual trophies; One in Table Tennis and another in Swimming. The team also got Bronze and silvers in Bowls and Table Tennis. All competitors did extremely well and achieved their goals in all the sports that were put on.
The three-day event had a positive impact on the whole team. The Inter-Spinal Unit Games are a great opportunity for people with spinal cord injury to try sports in a supported and encouraging environment.
The ethos is to encourage participation in sport, which the NSIC’s founder, Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann, began here more than 60 years ago. Sport therapy not only works alongside physiotherapy, it also gives great social interaction and a confidence boost to people after a spinal cord injury.

"We are very proud of our team and the personal achievements they each have made. " Georgina Friend and Theresa Dunlop
Sports Therapy, Clinical Support Workers at Stoke Mandeville Spinal Unit