England win the Wheelchair Rugby League European Championship

rugby

England claim victory and win the Wheelchair Rugby League European Championship beating the former world champions France 28-24.
England team Captain Jack Brown scored the needed points with a hat-trick try after Joe Coyd’s try took the game into extra time.

The chairman of Wheelchair RL, Martin Coyd, said: “England and France are the best two teams in the world.

“We haven’t been near them since 2011. The calmness of the players was fantastic.”

The European cup was held at Medway Park in Kent, and a five team tournament with Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and England competing.

Had you previously heard that the England wheelchair rugby team had been in and won the European Cup?, do you think it needs more exposure in the media?.

How Beach Wheelchairs Are Making UK Coastlines Accessible To The Disabled

Northumberland has some amazingly beautiful beaches, and designer Phil Pugh has been working hard to help disabled wheelchair users have access to the local beaches where they may have had difficulty before.

Working closely with Northumberland County Council and Active Northumberland, Mr Pugh has been looking at specially adapted makes and models of wheelchairs that can move across sand. His project has enabled a local Northumberland boy to experience the joys of the beach for the first time in many years.

Harry Purdy, aged 10, helped to test out the new designs, and his mum Debra, commented in a press interview that she thought the chairs were fantastic. She has not been able to take Harry to the sea front since he was 3 years old.

Debra added: “I would use the chairs regularly and I imagine a lot of other parents would too. I hope the trials continue and the new models are available soon.”

The team, working on Blyth beach, tested out the Tundra model, which is designed to take standard manual wheelchairs, and also the Desert model, which is still in the design stages, should eventually be able to take a whole range of designs.

Trials are still ongoing, and are part of a county wide scheme to help more wheelchair users access the local beaches in the area. It is hoped that feedback from the trials can be put forward during a meeting in October with councilors and Active Northumberland to explore the funding potential to provide beach wheelchairs locally.

You may be surprised to learn that there already are specially adapted wheelchairs made by by some wheelchair manufacturers, and many beach wheelchairs are in use in popular holiday destinations across the world.

Being physically disabled doesn’t mean that you should be deprived of a quality lifestyle, or not to be able to go where you please. So if you love the beach but feel it would be impossible to enjoy it because of your wheelchair, then this will be great news to you!

If you live by the sea, or like to visit the beach regularly, there are some models of beach wheelchairs that have become more affordable recently, and can be an appealing investment if you are going to get good use from it.

Just like with standard wheelchairs, you can get beach wheelchairs in either manual or electric versions. The manual versions are operated by the user, and the electric versions are controlled by either buttons or a joystick.

When you choose to buy a beach wheelchair, you can have it customised to suit your needs, in just the same way as you would with any other sort of wheelchair. So you can choose your favourite colour, upholstery design etc.

Most beach wheelchairs feature sling style seats to ensure a comfortable ride. Some even allow you to attach a sun parasol to the frame so you can enjoy a sunny beach without the risk of sun burn.

Beach wheelchairs are quite flexible because although they have been specifically designed for the beach, you can use them elsewhere too, so a great idea for a beach holiday where you may not want to keep switching chairs each time you leave the beach.

With the UK having more than 1,200 beaches, having the use of a beach wheelchair means that more of the coastline can now be opened up to the disabled, and taking a UK beach holiday is no longer as restrictive as it was before.

It is worth checking if a holiday destination have a beach wheelchair available. So far there is no definitive list of places that do have one, and of the 102 Blue Flag beaches, around 90% are wheelchair accessible, but less than 50% of these actually provide a beach wheelchair for public use.

British woman wins wheelchair tennis Grand Slam

tennis-champion
Jordanne Whiley has become the first British woman to win wheelchair tennis Grand Slam

23 year old Jordanne Whiley from Birmingham is the first British woman to win a wheelchair
tennis Grand Slam singles title after she won the US Open on Sunday 13th September 2015. It was the first womens
single Grand Slam Final that Jordanne had played in.

Jordanne beat the defending World number 3 champion Yui Kamiji of Japan 6-4, 0-6, 6-1, winning the game on the ninth championship point.
She is no stranger to tennis as she is already the UK’s most successful tennis player. After suffering with brittle bone disease doctors told
her she would never play sport again, how very wrong they were.

Jordanne and Yui were previous doubles team mates and are also best friends, it was hard for them to compete against each other but a great match
and Jordanne showed she was the best player, earning the well deserved Grand Slam singles title.

Wheelchair basketball: Great Britain women win Euro bronze

The GB Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team are celebrating after their victory to earn their fifth consecutive European bronze medal!

With their target in mind of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the Great Britain Women’s team headed out onto court inspired to put in their best performance for the finals of the 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships.

The team struck bronze by convincingly rising to a gritty challenge thrown down by France, and defeated them with a 69-39 win to successfully defend their 2013 bronze medal.

The European Wheelchair Basketball Championships were held this year from the 28th August to the 6th September at the University of Worcester Arena. The championships form part of the UK Sport’s National Lottery funded ‘#EveryRoadtoRio programme’, that supports UK athletes as they prepare and qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Wheelchair Championships saw 19 teams from across 12 nations compete, with the top five men’s teams and top four women’s teams earning their Rio 2016 Paralympic place.

Our GB Women’s team successfully earned both a place in Brazil and the European Championship semi finals achieving 4 out of 6 wins in the group stage of the event, beating Turkey (76-23), France (79-37), Italy (69-10), and Spain (54-50), and only losing out to Germany (39-53) and the Netherlands (52-64).

The bronze medal game saw a nail-biting start with the opening shots not fall for either teams. However, GB forged ahead to be first on the scoreboard after Jordanna Bartlett skilfully managed to sink a fantastic shot (2-0).

France came back to level the game on 2-2, but the GB Women proved too strong, and took it to a 12-2 lead at the end of the opening 10 minutes.

Great Britain continued to put the pressure on, and inspired by their early lead, continued to push forwards in the second quarter, playing their way to a 21 point lead within five minutes. France came back hard to score some points, but in the end Great Britain edged out their opponents by 27-11 to enter half time with a 39-13 advantage.

The third quarter, and the GB Women rallied once again to dominate play at both ends of the court increasing their lead by 59-21 with just 10 minutes left on the clock.

France dug in and put up a gritty performance, but in the final quarter the GB Women’s Team closed out a 69-39 victory, ensuring the nation’s fifth consecutive Women’s European Bronze Medal.

In a press interview with Head Coach Miles Thompson, he said: “Our goal was to get to the final, so it’s disappointing to come in third. But this team, the athletes, are so strong in spirit and the way they approach all the hard work that I couldn’t be prouder and I couldn’t be more optimistic about Rio.”

The Championships have been a result of a collaborative partnership between the British Wheelchair Basketball (BWB), the University of Worcester, with support from Worcestershire County Council, Worcester City Council and Worcestershire Local Enterprise.

Elderly Being Ripped Off When Buying Disabled Mobility Scooters

mobility scooters

With an ageing population on the rise, the demand for mobility scooters is also growing. However, a recent news feature said this is being seen by some retailers as an opportunity to take advantage of pensioners looking for new mobility scooters.

Prices for mobility scooters are reaching an all time high at £6,800 with some retailers, but are these high prices really justified?

Disabled Mobility Scooter Exploitation

Because there is such a demand for scooters from the elderly to enable them to keep their independence, and enjoy their old age in relative freedom, some unscrupulous retailers believe they can charge what they like for a new mobility scooter.

Viewed as a captive market, some retailers may be taking advantage of the desires of the elderly to carry on with their normal lives, and are slapping on higher price tags because they know they are not only selling the scooter itself, but also the idea of the freedom the scooter will allow the pensioners to have.

The National Pensioners Convention (NPC), have openly accused scooter sellers of exploiting their position of trust, and taking full advantage of the fact that there is so little regulation in place regarding mobility scooters.

The NPC are one of the largest lobby groups for the elderly in Britain, and believe that pensioners are wide open to exploitation by retailers because of the ever rising demand in the market for scooters.

It is not only new mobility scooter sales that the NPC are concerned about. There is also a growing market for second-hand scooters, but with the lack of regulation in the market, and the ability for scooter owners to drive without a licence or any form of instruction or lessons, there is concerns over the safety aspect of second-hand sales.

Getting What You Pay For

With so many makes and models available on the market, the price you pay for a mobility scooter can range from under £1,000 for a basic model to the heady price of £6,800 for a model that is built for all-weathers with glass screen and full cover.

Although you can quite often find a better deal when you shop online, sometimes the price you pay will mean you assembling the scooter yourself once delivered. It pays to check the sales small print to make sure you know what you are paying for.

Even the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have weighed in on the issue. The official regulator has openly criticised two of the UK’s leading mobility scooter retailers, stating that they are restricting consumers ability to get good value for money.

The two companies that were named by the OFT are Pride Mobility, in Bicester, Oxfordshire, and Roma Medical Aids. Both companies were seen to have ‘infringed competition law’ with their sales practices.

Finding A Good Retailer

Despite the findings of the OFT, there are some very good retailers out there that are not out to rip off their elderly customers. The best way to find them is to shop around and compare prices, models and services available.

An example of a good mobility scooter buy was found by Doug Somerset, 63, from Bexleyheath. Doug has suffered with mobility issues for 20 years, relying on mobility scooters and wheelchairs.

The retired engineer paid £939 for his ProRider Road King mobility scooter, and he is very happy with his purchase. The Pro Rider Road King Scooter has a maximum speed of 8 mph, with a range of up to 35 miles, as well as a massive 1100 Watt motor.

The ProRider is one of the cheapest on the market, but the quality and build is of a very high standard, and suits Mr Somerset’s needs very well. However, Mr Somerset was not surprised to see a similar model on sale with other retailers for £2,500 or more.

In a recent newspaper interview, Mr Somerset said, “Disabled people and pensioners are being used as a licence to print money by some retailers. Many of these mobility scooters are pretty poorly made, with cheap components and the mark-up is astonishing. In some cases people are simply being ripped off. Something needs to be done about it.”

According to RICA, a charity that conducts consumer research for the disabled and elderly, there is an issue with the pricing of mobility scooters. Customers are confused about how much they should be paying for a scooter. There is such a huge variation in price that customers can be left bewildered.

RICA advise people to shop around for the best deals, and look closely at what is included in the price, particularly in terms of an assessment, warranty, servicing, delivery and assembly.