Wheelchair racing is a Paralympic sport, open to athletes with any qualifying type of disability: this includes amputees, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy or partially sighted (when combined with another disability).
There are different classifications for competition to allow athletes with differing disabilities to take part fairly in the sport. Athletes are classified depending on the nature and severity of their disability.
The races usually either take place on a track or on roads as part of a road race. Athletes competing use specialised wheelchairs which are more streamlined and allow for an increased speed.
Did you know…
– Wheelchair racing has been included in theParalympic Games since 1960 and has become one of the most prominent forms of Paralympic athletics.
– Specialised racing wheelchairs allow athletes to travel quicker than 30 mph.
– Wheelchair sports were introduced at a spinal injuries centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, England, in 1944. The aim was to help rehabilitate disabled war veterans. World Wars played a huge part in changing societies view of the disabled community. Before the First World War many saw disabled people as a burden but today attitudes and inclusion continues to improve.
Do you compete in this sport and want to share your experiences with PACE News? Contact us today. We would love to hear from you.