Wales

Disability sport day gives children chance to try equipment

Expensive equipment like sports wheelchairs can make physical hobbies costly for athletes
Image caption Expensive equipment like sports wheelchairs can make physical hobbies costly for athletes

Hundreds of children attended a two-day event that gave them the chance to try 25 different disability sports.

As many as 600 youngsters showed up, including those with physical impairments, learning difficulties and some without disabilities.

Expensive equipment like sports wheelchairs can make physical hobbies costly for athletes.

Disability Sport Wales chief executive, Fiona Reid, said occasions like this were chances to try before you buy.

Ms Reid said: "Days like today, and we have 13 of these events across Wales, are prime opportunities for young people to come down and try the very different kind of chairs that are available.

"From the sports wheelchairs to the specific rugby wheelchairs et cetera.

"So they can get a taste of what it is they might want to do without necessarily having to foot the cost of buying a chair at that stage."

Disability sport was thriving, she said.

"This past year we had 1.95 million participation opportunities and it's growing every year," Ms Reid said.

"The year before that it was 1.75 million. Every year we expect to see a plateau, every year we see a growth."

Three time Paralympic athlete Nathan Stephens throws javelin and plays sledge hockey.

"I had to source funding for myself," he said.

"Unfortunately, due to the money and funding within sport, that is what Paralympic athletes have to do.

"Wheelchairs, throwing frames, javelins - all the equipment is expensive and every athlete has to face the same journey."

Broadcasting the Paralympics helped, he said.

"Hopefully, with that will come additional sponsorship and additional funding for athletes."

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