Author: Ross Bibby Date: 18.11.2013
Disabled people across the city will be able to try out a range of new, unique and innovative disability sport equipment in a wide variety of sessions delivered by Leeds City Council’s Sport & Active Lifestyles service. Funding has been successfully sourced from the short breaks scheme, a national initiative held locally by children’s services with a remit to improve the short break opportunities for disabled children, young people and their families.
One of the most unique items now available is an indoor accessible caving system, situated at Leeds Sailing & Activity Centre at Yeadon Tarn. One of only two caving systems in the UK with a completely flat bottom level, this allows wheelchair users and people with less mobility to experience caving via “trolleys” that you can propel yourself along with. An upper level allows other exploration opportunities. The sailing centre also now has a fleet of accessible single and double canoes, allowing easier access for disabled people.
Four “Mountain Trikes” are now available at the John Charles Centre, Leeds sailing centre and Herd Farm Activity Centre. These unique trikes allow off-road biking for wheelchair users of all ages and will be available as part of the regular adapted bikes and mountain biking sessions in the city.
Regular disability multi-sport clubs in Leeds have benefitted, with new all ability football kits, blind footballs, Boccia and New Age Kurling equipment.
Most Bodyline gyms in council run leisure centres now have a specially adapted rowing seat, to allow wheelchair users to more easily access rowing. Armley and Rothwell leisure centres have a new recumbent bicycle and Sci-fit handcycle each, allowing all ages more accessible gym opportunities.
Disability gym-minis and gymnastics classes at Scott Hall and Kirkstall leisure centre have benefitted from a range of new soft play equipment. Floatsation equipment, which are swimming floats designed specifically for disabled people, have been distributed across the most appropriate swimming pools in Leeds, for use in 1-2-1 lessons, group sessions or general swimming sessions by disabled people.
A variety of new adapted bikes are available at the adapted cycling sessions held twice daily at the John Charles Centre for Sport. These include handcyles, three and four wheel trikes, unique bikes with a seat on the front, a specific bike with capacity for a wheelchair (manual or powerchair) directly on the front, and finally semi-recumbent bicycles.
All of this exciting equipment has either been integrated into the regular disability sport programmes delivered in Leeds, or will be part of new bespoke sessions. Information on this new equipment and all of the disability sport opportunities in Leeds can be found at http://www.leeds.gov.uk/disabilitysport