Disability Wales

The founder of the West Wales Disability Sport Festival, being held in Haverfordwest on June 26th, is predicting the biggest and best event yet and is calling for more people to experience disability sport for themselves.

Peter O’Shea, Director of Haverfordwest-based Snowdrop Independent Living, established this as the first Disability Sport festival outside the Welsh capital last year, based on the annual Wheelchair Sports Spectacular which has been running in Cardiff for 14 years.

Working in conjunction with Disability Sport Wales and Pembrokeshire County Council’s Sport Development unit and Pembrokeshire Leisure, Snowdrop is staging the event at Haverfordwest Leisure Centre and is offering a wider range of sports than the inaugural year.

The Festival will be officially opened by Wales’ London 2012 Paralympic Gold Medal cyclist, Mark Colbourne MBE.

Mr O’Shea who founded the disability equipment and living aid business, which also has branches in Swansea and Penarth, in 2000, said: “Our overriding aim is to encourage more people in our region to get involved in the world of disabled sports and more sports clubs to become accessible.

Last year we welcomed over 150 visitors, this year the event will be bigger, and we believe, the best yet.  We really want to see more children and adults coming along to get a taster for these fantastic sports and find out about the incredible equipment on offer.”

For 2016, the Festival has been expanded to include climbing, cricket and rowing in addition to wheelchair basketball, rugby, Boccia, weightlifting, target shooting, cycling, swimming, badminton and table tennis.

Nathan Stephens, Welsh former Paralympian and World Champion and record holder in the javelin said: “Sport is a great way to get fit and meet people and we were so pleased to see even children as young as 5 years of age coming along to Haverfordwest to try out disability sport.                                                                                                                        

We will be on the look-out for future talent and last year we identified a number of athletes who we believe could be upcoming stars. But the whole idea is for people from beginners upwards to come along and find out which sport suits them best, and to get involved in something which can really make a huge difference to their lives.”

Following the success of the first Disability Sport Festival in Haverfordwest, Disability Sport Wales has rolled out the concept to other areas of Wales with similar events taking place in North and Mid Wales this year.

Angela Miles, Disability Sport Development Officer for Pembrokeshire County Council said: “We are delighted to be working with Snowdrop Independent Living and having the opportunity to showcase the sports that are available in the West to children and adults with a disability. We look forward to another successful Festival.”

Entrance to the Disability Sport Festival, which commences at 11am on Sunday 26th June is free and open to all.

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