8 December 2017

Thirty physiotherapy student volunteers from the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, were key cogs in the first ever Winter Wonderwheels event, which attracted more than 500 disabled sports enthusiasts and was held on the International Day of Disability last week.

Created by Paralympian Sophia Warner, Winter Wonderwheels is part of the SuperheroSeries which has been created specifically to allow anyone with disabilities and an interest in sport the chance to cycle, walk, run, push, or anything in between on 1km, 5km and 10km challenges.

“There are no cut-off times and all types of gadgets and gismos are welcome, from day chairs, handcycles, walking frames and trikes to tandems, race runners, blades and bikes,” said Sophia.

“Key to the success of the event is an army of volunteers to help our everyday athletes with their kit.  The physiotherapy student volunteers from the University of Hertfordshire, by far the largest group we had, were invaluable as their specialist training meant they understood how to lift and best help our athletes.”

Senior Lecturer and physiotherapist Danielle Ramsey, who led the volunteers said, “By volunteering as Sidekicks our students have experienced the true meaning of inclusion and participation and how a person with a disability should never be under-estimated. Helping people reach their Superhuman/Superhero potential is, as physiotherapists, what we should be working towards.  It is incredible to see just how inspired the students are following this event and I am very excited to see how this next generation of physiotherapists from the University of Hertfordshire will apply this experience in practice.”

Main Image: Invictus Games and Paralympic medal winner and Hertfordshire Alumni David Henson MBE, with Paralympian Sophia Warner, Senior Lecturer and physiotherapist Danielle Ramsey, and University of Hertfordshire students.