The British Wheelchair Sports Foundation (BWSF) is the national organisation for wheelchair sport in the United Kingdom, and exists to provide, promote and develop opportunities for men, women and children with disabilities to participate in recreational and competitive wheelchair sport.
The Foundation has it’s home at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, well-renowned as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, which has recently undergone an extensive £10million refurbishment. The redevelopment has been possible due to the significant contribution of £5,243,057 award from the Sport England Lottery Fund towards the project.
The Stadium was officially opened by HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of BWSF, on 8th April 2003 and now boasts some of the best facilities for wheelchair sport in the world, including a 12-court sports hall, Harpers fitness centre – equipped by Powersport, 8-lane Mondo athletics track, 6-rink indoor bowls arena and a fully accessible 100-bed Olympic Lodge hotel.
As the governing body for a variety of wheelchair sports associations, BWSF runs events at junior, novice, national and international levels as well as assisting with the training and development of wheelchair athletes. These include:
National Junior Games - Held annually, this event caters for juniors with physical or mild sensory disabilities and is attended by around 250 children aged between 12 and 18 years of age. Young people receive instruction from qualified coaches and experienced wheelchair athletes in a variety of sports, such as table tennis, boccia, bowls, fencing and zone hockey. In addition to sport the games include a social programme, and an opportunity for relaxation for the participants, parents and teachers.
National Wheelchair Championships - Another event that takes place annually, these championships are held in order to provide a high standard of competition for both British and overseas wheelchair athletes. Good performances often mean a place in international or Paralympic teams, competing for Great Britain.
Primary Sports Camp - These camps, for children aged between 6-11 years, aim to develop the social and self help skills of the children through interaction with others with similar disability problems, helping them to develop confidence and self esteem. There are opportunities to experience a wide range of sports in fun sessions with children of the same age and level of disability, which will undoubtedly widen their horizons. Around 80 children attend, plus carers, parents or teachers. The Camps are held at a variety of venues around the country.
Inter Spinal Unit Games - These games provide an opportunity for those recently suffering the trauma of a spinal injury, and who are recovering in one of the 12 Spinal Injuries Units in hospitals across Great Britain. Here the patients try out a variety of sports under the supervision of experienced athletes and coaches. This unique event, held annually in April, can make a tremendous difference to the lives of people whose world has perhaps been shattered by their injury.
To find out more about the work of the Foundation or to be added to our database to receive regular updates and newsletters please contact us.
Tel: 01296 395995