In September 2022, WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, hosted the 33rd edition of the Inter Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement. The event welcomed 70 patients and staff from more than 10 spinal units across the United Kingdom.
We were proud to sponsor the Rookwood Rookies, who were representing the Welsh Spinal Injury Unit from University Hospital, Llandough.
Sophia Francesca Seabourne and Carl Webster were brilliant athletes, and I was in awe of them as I watched them take part in archery and table tennis competitions. They both did extremely well; Carl came third in the table tennis competition and Sophie reached the semi-final in the women’s table tennis competition, third in archery and fourth in her swim. Both Sophie and Carl were talent spotted and ask to contact clubs in their home areas. The team also comprised of Tabby Waldron (physio), Matt Roberts (OT) and Martyn Langmead (physio) who all provided excellent support during the 4-day event.
In between sessions, I was offered the opportunity to try out archery with Paralympic champion, Fred Stevens, who became a Paralympian in 2008 representing Great Britain at Beijing. Not only is Fred an extremely talented athlete, but he’s a great character and famous for his wide brimmed hat! He also has the patience of a saint and managed to teach me to shoot a bull’s eye!
Thank you for giving me such a warm welcome and well done to everyone from all the spinal units who took part.