At our recent City Showcase event celebrating International Day of Persons with Disability (IDPwD), participants had a ball experiencing what it was like being in a wheelchair whilst playing a game of wheelchair basketball. The event sought to raise awareness around the topic of disability, inclusive activities and accessibility issues.
Three of the main topics raised during the event was:
- How different surfaces affect the ease or difficulty of maneuvering a wheelchair. The game was played on a pop up court in Main Square of Brookfield Place, so essentially a concrete street court. At times, the wheels lost traction due to the surface of the court and participants found themselves veering off in a direction they were not intending on heading on.
- The level of skill and coordination required to play sports without the use of your legs. Participants commented that we take for granted the ease of which we catch a ball, continue our movement and steer when playing able bodied sports. However, when your propulsion, steering and catching mechanisms are tied to a single body part, you get overloaded with decisions and the easiest decision is simply to stop moving and to get rid of the ball.
- Sports wheelchairs are a piece of sporting equipment similar to a pair of shoes or a tennis racquet. Our members are not confined to a chair, but rather, they sports wheelchair allows them to partake in a sporting or recreational activity. And like a pair of shoes, different sports chairs are highly customised to the type of sport which it is being used for.
- That a simple act of getting a drink posed a series of problems. Some of the more adventurous participants took their wheelchairs on a trip to get some cool refreshment. However, after receiving their drink, how then do you get back to your destination while holding a drink, especially one without a lid. Most wheelchairs (unless modified), as participants soon came to realise, don’t come with drink holders
Credit where credits due, thank you to Brookfield Place for accommodating our event and their help in organising it, as well as Basketball WA for their help with logistics. Thanks again to all our participants and we look forward to seeing you again next year.
Westpac Private Wealth
Hall and Wilcox
Goodlife Brookfields Place
Government of WA
Opposition of WA