Get yourself active blog

From Boccia to Ice Skating – It’s important to find the right activity for you!

great-eastern-run-1Jonathon’s story is told to us by his Personal Assistant, Mandy, who explains the different activities Jonathon takes part in, and his thirst to try new physical activities.

Jonathon was born on the 6th of August 1991, weighing a mere 5lb 11oz, and resulting in him being in special care for about three weeks. When Jonathon was around six months’ old he suffered a massive fit, which is where a bomb shell was dropped on the family and they were told Jonathon had cerebral palsy.


Jonathon’s family came together to raise money for him to go to the Peto Institute in Hungary, which teaches children who have cerebral palsy and cannot control their bodies very well to lead more independent lives. It was here that Jonathon had physio, enabling him to sit up and do other activities.

Jonathon went to a mainstream primary school and secondary where he had hydrotherapy. When schooling ended he went to college, but when that finished Jonathon became bored very quickly. It was then that I started to find sports activities for him to try.

hand-cyclingIn October 2014 I found a group that taught boccia. Even though Jonathon could not throw, he used a ramp to do what was needed. It was at boccia that someone suggested that Jonathon should try hand cycling, so in January 2015 we went to our local athletics track to see how he would get on. Although he needed a little assistance at first, he soon got into the swing of things and when it started to warm up he got quicker and quicker. At one point he did 10 laps of a 400m track!


Meanwhile, instead of doing just boccia on Monday nights, we started doing multi-sports. This included boccia, floor exercises, archery, rounders and many other activities. We were then invited to an inclusive ice skating session where Jonathon got to go on the ice. He really enjoyed it, especially when professionals took him round – they were a lot quicker than me!

We are now in 2016 and Jonathon is doing multi-sports on Mondays, hand cycling on Wednesdays and ice skating on Fridays. I did not think we could find anything else for Jonathon to do, but April saw the start of Sailability. This offered local disabled people the chance “to go sailing, to enjoy the fresh air and sense of freedom that this brings”.  So, on a Tuesday we would take Jonathon to a local lake where he would go and enjoy sailing (the stronger the wind the better). In June sailabilityof this year Sailability set up a Water Wheels Challenge. This meant Jonathon could sail a short course on a sailing boat on the lake, then go on to an adapted cycle, and cycle a small route before crossing the finish line. Jonathon has done this twice now and he loved it!

Whilst participating in the Water Wheels Challenge, they had other activities for people to try. This is where proper archery, as well as rebound therapy, were suggested to us.

archery-2Doing physical activity keeps Jonathon mobile, preventing him from becoming stiff and unable to do things. Jonathon now has a different activity to take part in each and every day: Monday is multi-sports; Tuesday is Sailability;  Wednesday is hand cycling; Thursday is rebound therapy; and Friday is archery and ice skating.

As for me, I am definitely feeling active but I feel more tired than he does.



On the 27th of November Jonathon and I completed a sponsored swim to raise money for Inspire Peterborough. We raised about £80 and the swim went brilliantly. I swam 86 lengths and Jonathon managed an amazing 24 lengths!

To read more about Jonathon, visit his Inspire Athlete profile page on the Inspire Peterborough website.

Want to find out what is available in your area? Take a look at Information in Your Local Area pages on this website.  

Want to know more about Personal Health Budgets and getting active? Take a look at our GYA resource Using Personal Budgets and Personal Health Budgets to Get Active.

GB Paralympian, Susie Rodgers supports #MyStory and importance of helping others find their own potential

logo-disability-sports-coachFrom the start of November, every week for seven weeks, Disability Sports Coach is releasing a Community Club participant’s story to encourage and excite their peers to be active, as part of their latest online campaign #MyStory.

The objective of the campaign is to give each individual a stage on which to share their involvement in physical activity and sport and motivate other members of their community, whether they are training for the next Olympic Games or now have the confidence to go job hunting. Each individual will then have the opportunity to meet and be inspired by Susie Rodgers, GB Paralympian and Rio2016 gold medalist, listening to her story and roach to success.
Susie Rodgers is backing #MyStory because she believes sharing your accomplishments and victories can inspire friends.

“#MyStory is a fantastic campa
ign to encourage people of all backgrounds to share their experiences and help those around them to find their potential. I was inspired to swim competitively by the British Paralympian’s at the 2008 Summer Games but we are often inspired most by those closest to us.

Reading each Community Club participant’s story really highlights the wider benefits of playing sport and being part of a club can bring; everyone should be proud of sharing their story.”

Read the first three #MyStory articles online now, starting with David who became active by joining his local Community Club, consequently improving his independence and gaining confidence to go job hunting.

Read the original article at Like and follow Disability Sports Coach on Facebook or Twitter to get involved and to follow the more of #MyStory.

Superhero Series launches to increase disability sport

superhero_series_detailYesterday saw the launch of the Superhero Series, the UK’s only mass-participation sports series for everyday superheroes. A host of Paralympic
medalists including Sophia Warner, Marc Woods and Team Captains Sophie Christiansen, JJ Chalmers, Sophie Morgan, Anne Dickins and Megan Giglia  attended the launch event at Beany Green in Paddington, and encouraged the public to sign up to this project and get involved in this unparalleled event.

With disability sport gaining traction on the back of the success of the 2016 Paralympic Games, the Superhero Series is designed to increase the number of disabled p
eople taking part in physical activity at all levels. The series promotes inclusivity by eliminating restrictive rules and regulations that are regularly enforced in mass-participation events.

If you would like the opportunity to be picked for a Celebrity Superhero’s team, visit to enter the competition. All you have to do is state which stage of the triathlon you would like to do, and why you should be picked for a Celebrity Superhero’s team.

The Superhero Series is designed for everyone from total beginners through to elite athletes. The inaugural event is on 19 August 2017 at Dorney Lake, Windsor.

In addition to the Celebrity Superhero Tri, the event that kick starts the project will consist of three triathlon events over three distances. You do not have to participate in all three stages.

There are three ways to take part:

  • Team up – For those who want to participate with family and friends (disabled and non-disabled) to do a stage each. This is the best option for those who might excel at one or two stages but might hit a wall with the third.
  • Grab a Sidekick – This race is a unique chance to power your Superhero around the entire course. Prepare to tow them in the water and pull and push them around the bike and push/run sections. You can both be sure of a hero’s welcome when you cross the finish line.
  • Fly solo – ‘Flying solo’ doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Every Superhero needs a Sidekick sometimes and, as with all the challenges, you’re welcome to bring support for one or more stages.

The three distances:

  • Sprint Superhero Tri: 150m swim, 3k bike, 1k push/run
  • Half Superhero Tri: 400m swim, 10k bike, 2.5k push/run
  • Full Superhero Tri: 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k push/run

To find out more about Superhero Series and to sign up visit or follow them on Twitter for regular updates @superherotri.