Active Nation – who are on a mission to persuade the nation to be active - thoroughly enjoyed getting Hampshire’s Wheelchair users active this weekend at the All-New Solent University Sports Complex.

The new wheelchair sport taster day, aptly named #WheelFest, consisted of fun-filled activities such as Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby, Wheelchair Jousting, Time Trials, Racing and Skill Building.

Over 100 participants were honoured to be in the company of Aaron Phipps (Team GB Wheelchair Rugby Paralympian) who was challenged on the day by up and coming wheelchair users (many showed athlete potential!) The day, which ran on Saturday 11th May 2019, was powered by Active Nation in partnership with Millbrook Health Care and Solent University. The day allowed not only disabled people to get active, but also ambulant residents and family members who wanted to give wheelchair sport a try.

Peter Hull MBE, Active Nation’s Engagement Lead and 3x Paralympic Gold medallist told us: “An extremely empowering day for everyone at the first ever #WheelFest. Wheelchair users of all ages, along with: parents, carers, friends and professionals from all over the county came along to discover a variety of wheelchair sports and activities. It was an absolute pleasure to be part of inspiring the next generation of Wheelchair athletes.”

Empowering individuals to take part in physical activity is incredibly important and we believe if everyone is given the support they need to take part, levels of inactivity within our communities will decrease, thus improving physical and mental health.

Maxwell Bradbury-Knight, Active Nation’s Partnership Manager added: “Leading a healthy and active life is a basic human right and no barrier should leave you unable to participate. Physical inactivity kills more people every year than smoking and Active Nation are proud to be empowering local communities to lead healthier lives whilst building connections and reducing social isolation. WheelFest is just one initiative, powered by Active Nation in partnership with local organisations, which increases the opportunity for communities to become active!”

We’d like to give a special thanks to: Solent University, The Hendy Group, Irwin Mitchell, Millbrook Healthcare, Chapman Care, Hampshire Harriers, Solent Sharks, Team Solent Boccia & Wooden Spoon for supporting our award-winning ActiveAbility programme which enables up to 2,000 disabled people get active per month.

If you’re interested in participating in, or becoming a partner of, the award-winning ActiveAbility programme, please email [email protected]

Active Nation is a registered charity with a simple cause-led mission, persuading the nation to be active. Whilst the majority of the charities operations are in local authority leisure management we have diversified over the last couple of years to add new low cost fitness clubs, trampoline parks, activity venues and our Active Communities proposition to the portfolio. Under the simple but purposeful mission, the charity delivers what really matters to communities; exciting sports, exercise and wellbeing programmes which encourage and persuade people to be active.

Our Southampton based Active Communities team exists to empower local communities, special populations and disabled people to access live changing, award winning inclusive sports, activities and healthy living services within the Solent Region.