Racing wheelchairs at High Street showcase

17 May 2018

Visitors young and old will be challenged to pit their strength and skills in sports wheelchairs at the Bedford High Street Showcase on Saturday 2nd June. There will be Love Bedford gift vouchers, which can be redeemed in 270 town centre businesses, as prizes for the best on the day.

The annual showcase event, which sees the main road closed to traffic, encourages businesses and charities to stage activities to entertain crowds of visitors.

The Push4it group has raised more than £40,000 for the development of sport for the young disabled – thus keeping alive the spirit of the 2012 London Olympics when paralympians were based at the local campus of the University of Bedfordshire for pre-Games training.

The money was raised by a series of six annual wheelchair challenges held at the International Sports Stadium in Barker’s Lane, Bedford and by a donation of £10,000 from the Bedford Physical Education Old Students Association. The grant was awarded from the Eileen Alexander Legacy Fund and was used to purchase three racing wheelchairs and associated equipment.  One of these will be used at the High Street Showcase.

Any disabled people interested in becoming involved in wheelchair racing, or would like to become a volunteer or coach or helper , on a long term basis should contact Howard Darbon, the initiator of the Wheelchair Legacy Relay at hdarbon@ntlworld.com.  He said: “I am always amazed at the abilities of disabled people and we want to offer opportunities, particularly for young people to enhance and develop their lives and interests through participation in sport.”

On behalf of the Rotary Clubs in the area that have supported Push4it Mary Whitehead adds:  “We are very grateful to all the participants, helpers and spectators who made purchasing the chairs a reality.”

Rotarian Keith Franks, Chairman of the Push4it organising group trying out his hand in one of the new chairs.

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