First ever Adaptive Highland Games mark pivotal moment in history for disability inclusivity
On 4th August, what have been described the UK’s first ever Adaptive Highland Games took place, marking a historical moment for disability inclusivity.
Adaptive events took place in the biggest ever Mey Highland and Cultural Games, with 60 para-athletes travelling from across the globe to compete in the Games, some from as far as Australia and America.
Additionally, Scottish healthcare start-up wheelAIR supported the event.
One athlete who travelled from the US was Scottish Heavy Athletics champion, Alex ‘The Tank’ Armor, who used a wheelAIR cooling backrest cushion while competing in the event.
He said: “Being a heavy athletics and strongman competitor, almost all of my events are outdoors, in temperatures up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and I have had to battle severe overheating due to my MS and other medical issues.
“This is not so when using the wheelAIR! I was able to focus and compete at the top of my ability throughout the entire day! Truly life and sport changing!”
The wheelAIR uses inbuilt fan technology to cool the user’s back and core by getting rid of excess heat and moisture, as well as offering support for individuals.
Although a little-known issue, overheating in a wheelchair is an issue experienced by many wheelchair users from a variety of causes, including health conditions, medication, exertion or staying in the same position all day.
Exercise increases any heat-related symptoms and can lead to users feeling distracted and uncomfortable. In more serious cases, it can lead to health ailments associated with hyperthermia.
However, to tackle this problem, the wheelAIR prevents any temperature-related problems.
Founder and Managing Director of wheelAIR Corien Staels commented: “Attending the games on Saturday was a fantastic moment for wheelAIR.
“We love to get behind break-throughs for inclusivity and enable as many people as possible to feel their best doing what they love.
We were proud to stand beside these impressive athletes and organisations who helped make this happen.”
The Mey Games were created to celebrate the late Queen Mother’s 70th birthday and continues to be supported by The Royal Family, with Prince Charles attending this year’s event.