“Back home you don’t see many people in a wheelchair, here there’s loads of people you can talk to and you can be open with them and they understand you, rather than an able-bodied person,” says 15 year old Sam Joyce from Ashford, Kent.
Sam recently took part in WheelPower’s National Junior Games, an annual event held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. This year the event was part of the charity’s 70th anniversary celebrations of wheelchair sport at Stoke Mandeville.
The games are a great way for children aged 12-18 with a disability to discover sport in a safe, welcoming and friendly environment.
Before Sam attended the National Junior Games he wasn’t taking part in many sports. “I did slightly modified PE lessons at school, archery at the local club, they’ve both been great in trying to help me do well, but it’s just that it’s mainly for the able bodied it’s just not as specialized in a way,” he says.
Now Sam has been able to try a whole host of sports. “Basketball, shooting, tennis, pretty much everything here…. there’s a load. I’ve tried out the rugby this time and managed to have a go on the handcycling, that’s been fun.”
Find out more about WheelPower and the National Junior Games here.