CASE STUDY: Paralympic powerlifter benefits from one of the world’s lightest folding wheelchairs
Mobility and rehabilitation specialist Ottobock has helped a Paralympic powerlifter by supplying him with a lightweight folding wheelchair.
Ali Jawad received his first Ottobock wheelchair in December 2020 after finding his previous chair too big for him due to his body shape changing with Crohn’s Disease.
When searching for a new chair, Ali knew of Ottobock due to the company’s long-standing partnership with the Paralympics. He also knew he wanted a folding chair that was a good fit for him and that looked good on the platform when he is competing.
So, he went to Bromakin Wheelchairs and asked about the Ottobock Avantgarde manual wheelchair. Bromakin Wheelchairs is local to Ali and he says that the team there is very helpful.
The Ottobock Avantgarde manual wheelchair is one of the lightest folding wheelchairs in the world, according to Ottobock, weighing as little as 8.7kg thanks to its aluminium tube frames.
It offers active wheelchair users numerous options, such as push handles and caster wheels, and is available in a large range of colours to match any personality. Now in its fourth generation, the wheelchair is also compact, has an extremely small folding size and is crash tested.
A few weeks after having his assessment with Bromakin, Ali received his chair. He describes the first time he tried the Avantgarde: “I felt so mobile, I wasn’t used to it, I was so quick.”
The fit of a wheelchair chair is crucial. When it fits perfectly, it makes pushing more energy-efficient and covering longer distances is less tiring. This is even more important when you are training for the Paralympics, Ottobock highlights.
Ali uses his chair for the majority of the time, whether at home (particularly when cooking as it is the perfect height), going to the shops and also at the gym. He would recommend the chair for users with an active lifestyle.
Despite being a powerlifter, Ali can still tell the difference with his new lighter chair, especially when putting it in the car and getting up close to things. The main advantages of having a lighter chair is when doing long pushes, it enables the user to be more mobile and free.
For Ali, it is very important to him that the chair folds through the middle so he can simply fold the chair and put it straight in the back of the car and not have to worry about taking the wheels off. Ali also explains that nearly as important as getting the perfect chair is also having a comfortable, durable cushion which doesn’t give the user sores.
Ali is looking forward to taking his Avantgarde to the Paralympics, knowing the chair is durable and robust and will withstand all of the traveling and the amount of distance it will need to do around the Paralympic village.
“For me it has been the perfect fit, it has changed my life for the better,” concludes Ali.
Ottobock recently launched the sit-and-drive Wingus powerchair that promises to be comfortable, reliable and stylish.