WHAT ACTIVITIES/SPORT/EXERCISE DO YOU DO? HOW DID YOU GET ACTIVE?
I currently play and coach powerchair football. I first became active and started participating in sport at the age of 6 at Greenbank Sports Academy, Liverpool playing power hockey. See link: https://www.greenbanksportsacademy.co.uk/
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD/POSITIVE EXPERIENCES? BAD/NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES?
Some of the best experiences include winning trophies and playing at the highest level within powerchair football, making friends through getting active in different sports and being able to play with my friends and siblings in power hockey and be on a level playing field. A bad experience is probably when we got knocked out of the semi finals in the World cup of powerchair football, but I know we will come back stronger than ever next time round!
IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE IN ONE WORD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
If I was to describe powerchair football in one word it would be, competitive.
WHAT DOES BEING PHYSICALLY ACTIVE MEAN TO YOU?
Being physically active to me means that you are getting out of the house and doing something, like going for a walk or something like that, it doesn’t necessarily have to be to do with sports. The reason I take part in sports is because I’m a very competitive person and love competition, it’s also a great way to socialise and meet new people. If I was encouraging somebody to take part in something I would tell them to try lots of different things until they find something they like and so because it’s a great way to get active and meet new people and socialise.
TELL ME IF YOU ENCOUNTERED ANY CHALLENGES IN PARTICIPATING IN SPORT OR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
I have encountered challenges participating in physical education during school as I could not participate in most things due to my disability. I didn’t expect pupils not to play a certain sport just because I couldn’t, however the teachers always tried to get me involved where possible for example refereeing or coaching which was great.
TO WHAT EXTENT ARE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ABLE TO ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORTS OF THEIR CHOICE?
People with disabilities have a wide variety of sports they can play and there are lots of opportunities, however this can depend on the severity of your condition. As I’m quite physically disabled, there aren’t as many sports I can play compared to somebody who is less physically challenged.
This is shown the Paralympics as I think there is probably 2 sports I could participate in boccia and possibly shooting, however this is not a great variety and these sports don’t really interest me. Powerchair football enables me to get the adrenal rush I seek from sport!
WHAT MORE MUST BE DONE TO ENSURE CONSTANT PROGRESS TOWARDS EVERYBODY BEING ACTIVE?
I think I am already really active and luckily my parents have allowed me to participate in sports by transporting me around the country, whether it be around the corner from my house to Greenbank or to the other end of the country to compete in a competition. Luckily I am able to do all that however, I have seen lots of people not be able to compete or even train as their parents either couldn’t drive, couldn’t afford it or they just didn’t want to travel.
I think one way to combat and improve this could be to put on free travel to and from training/games for people who are unable to get there or maybe even get carers who can take them.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING AROUND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
If I could change one thing around sports/physical activity it would be for clubs to try and make it as accessible as possible for everyone and also to help those who are most in need of assistance i.e transport to training.