British Triathlon took the opportunity to inspire people with physical and learning disabilities to find sports they enjoy at the Walsall Accessible Community Games.
Walsall’s second ever Accessible Community Games took place on the 18th October at the Walsall Campus of the University of Wolverhampton, with more than 300 people with disabilities in attendance.
The idea for the Community Games was born after founder Dennis Kennedy signed the ‘Include Me West Midlands’ pledge, which promotes inclusivity in sport for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions.
The event was designed specifically for people with physical and learning disabilities, not just presenting sports activities, but also offering a quiet room, a breakout area and a variety of problem-solving activities.
The Accessible Community Games hosted more than 20 activities for people to attempt for free, regardless of ability or age. These activities were showcased by experienced instructors, with representatives from British Triathlon being joined by archery, boxing, cricket, cycling, wheelchair basketball and more.
Alasdair Donaldson, Paratriathlon Talent and Development Manager at British Triathlon, said: “It is really important to ensure that we can show how triathlon can be accessed by everyone so that they can all have the opportunity to enjoy the fun and excitement of being involved in the sport, but also the health benefits. Triathlon is a sport which can cater for so many and it is important that we continue to spread the word by getting involved in events like the Accessible Community Games.”
At the Games, British Triathlon showcased a variety of cycling equipment including tandem bikes and handcycles for the attendees to experiment with. The event was a unique opportunity to allow people with physical and learning disabilities to discover the sport for themselves and spend time with the specialist equipment in a non-pressured environment.
Kirsty Outhwaite, West Midlands Regional Manager at British Triathlon, said: “The Accessible Community Games in Walsall went really well with many enthusiastic adults and children taking part in speed jumps, cycling and running. The day gave participants the chance to have ago at the different types of equipment that para triathletes use – this ranged from hands bikes, tandems, race chairs and able-bodied bikes.”
Outhwaite continued: “We even had one of the children take the hand bike on the running track off the rollers to have a mini session with Becky Hewitt which was fantastic for his motion and improving his movement. I look forward in working with Dennis Kennedy again next year and meeting more eager members.”