Get yourself active blog

Get Yourself Active Website Feedback

Wednesday 26 July 2017

The Get Yourself Active team is looking for feedback on its website.

We are constantly trying to improve our offer. This is why we are conducting research into how our users perceive our website. Are we useful? Are we accessible? What would you like to see on the website?

Please have a browse of our Get Yourself Active website and familiarise yourself with its contents before taking this survey. Your feedback is very important to us.

The survey should take about ten minutes to complete. Take the survey here.

Get Yourself Active is working with Swim England to understand more from disabled people about their swimming experiences. Find out more.

Take part in PASCCAL’s research and get an M&S voucher

Wednesday 26 July 2017

The PASCCAL project wants to know about your experiences of watching the Paralympics   

The PASCCAL project aims to address the meanings ascribed to disabled athletes in Paralympic sport (Rio 2016 and London 2012 Paralympics) and audience interpretations of these. The project is of pressing importance with respect to furthering knowledge, policy and practice with regard to the televised production of disability and to shape, include and give greater voice to disability in the media.

We are running small, friendly focus group discussions and interviews across England and Wales and we’re keen to hear about your experiences of watching the Paralympics as part of understanding audience interpretations. If you would like to take part please contact All participants will be provided with an M&S voucher to the value of £15 to thank you for your time.

All participants must be aged 18 or over to enter. We are looking to speak to both disabled and non-disabled people.

Visit for more information or follow them on Twitter @pasccalproject.

Get Yourself Active is working with Swim England to understand more from disabled people about their swimming experiences. Find out more.

Maya the determined wheelchair racing whizz kid!

Tuesday 25 July 2017

This week’s Personal Experience Blog is written by Maya’s parents to share her amazing story with our readers and how even at such a young age she is developing into a potential wheelchair Paralympic champion  – enjoy

Maya is a 5 year old full-time wheelchair user who loves school, swimming, riding her trike, dancing and going to the skate park. Her favourite athletes are Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Hannah Cockroft.

Maya started using a self-propel wheelchair from a very young age. At the age of two Maya had built up enough upper body strength to learn to army crawl and this was when her true spirit began to emerge. We knew from that point that she wasn’t going to let her disability or doctor’s prognosis stop her aiming high and achieving her dreams.

Maya 3 years old ready for her first PGER charity run

After wheelchair services said she was too young to self-propel we searched high and low for light weight wheelchairs that may be suitable and, to our big surprise, just a few days before her 3rd birthday we were gifted Maya’s first light-weight wheelchair from a lovely family who faced a similar battle.  Maya soon got the hang of it and within a few weeks was whizzing around alphabet day nursery, Whittlesey, racing and chasing her friends. By the age of 4 she was completing independent fun runs, walks and events to raise money for charity including PGER fun run and Parallel at the Olympic park, London. This year at just 5 years old, Maya is raising money for local charities and is also fundraising for some small racing equipment by completing the Parallel 5 km event, Disneyland Paris 5 km race and the PGER as part of team We’re all mad here.

Maya has a busy sports and therapy programme where we incorporate the things she loves (mainly all things Disney) to work on her strength, flexibility, balance and coordination as well as her posture. Maya attends Alderman and Jacob’s Primary school, Whittlesey and with the help and support of her Physiotherapist they have developed an inclusive and varied programme for Maya to be involved in and enjoy at school.

Racing career!

Maya at Wheelchair racing training session

Maya started wheelchair racing after we saw a Facebook post about free taster sessions being held with Nene Valley Harriers in Peterborough. We were a little unsure if Maya would be big enough to give it a go but thought what’s the harm in trying. If anything, we just thought it would be great for her to meet other people. We encourage Maya to live a life without limits and that anything is possible if she puts her mind to it. We like to encourage her to find the ‘Maya Way’ of doing the things she loves. Racing or ‘running’ as she calls it, is another way of achieving her dreams. Wheelchair racing has also opened up lots of opportunities to try other sports including an inclusive sports day and local wheelchair accessible activities. Since attending the taster sessions Maya has been practicing hard, learning new skills and her confidence is soaring. There are also talks of Maya competing at her first ever wheelchair racing event on the 8th October at the PGER in Peterborough just 4 days before her birthday. What a way to celebrate turning 6!

Maya says,

“I love racing with my friends! Racing is fun. I love going really fast and winning!”

Follow Maya’s progress at:

Help Maya reach her dreams at

Parallel London is the world’s first fully inclusive mass participation event, with something for everyone, no matter what your ability. Find out more here.

Is your swimming going swimmingly?

Thursday 20 July 2017

We know that disabled people face many barriers to getting active. This is why Get Yourself Active is working with Swim England to understand more from disabled people about their swimming experiences.

We want to understand the barriers and negative experiences that disabled people face, as well as the positive experiences that make swimming great.

Share your stories –good and bad – and take our short survey here.

Hydrotherapy pool refurbishment gathering pace

Thursday 13 July 2017

Refurbishment and repair works which will enable Peterborough City Council to re-open a popular hydrotherapy pool are gathering pace.

St George’s Community Hydrotherapy Pool on Dogsthorpe Road has been closed since March after a leak was discovered in the pool.

The city council has committed to building a brand new facility in the city, as it knows how vital it is for many of the city’s residents.

However, as the new pool is not expected to be open until late 2019, the city council has also committed to repairing the existing pool to limit the gap in provision.

As well as fixing the leak, there is also a need to remove asbestos from the building and make a number of other minor repairs. These works, expected to cost in the region of £45,000, are underway and progressing well.

The city council expects the St George’s hydrotherapy pool to be open again by the end of September.

Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities and member of the pool’s steering group, said:

“There are a good number of people across the city who rely on St George’s for pain relief and companionship. In fact, it has helped in excess of 3,000 people manage their pain and health conditions since it opened in March 2011 and at the point the pool had to close temporarily more than 250 people were using it on a weekly basis.

“It is for this reason that I have championed the continued provision of hydrotherapy services in the city and why I have committed to the repair, renovation and reopening of the existing pool as quickly as possible.

“Work is progressing well and I am pleased to say that we are on schedule for the pool to reopen by the end of September at this stage.

“However we must not forget that although the current pool is well loved and used by a growing number of residents, it is rapidly reaching the end of its life.

“This is why I am delighted that plans are progressing on the design and costings for a brand new community hydrotherapy pool which we aim to have open by September 2019.

“We will shortly be starting to work closely with the pool’s steering and user groups to design a modern facility for the wider community.”

The plans for a new hydrotherapy pool are part of a wider plan to relocate Heltwate Special School to a new site in the city with extra pupil places and modern facilities, which will include the new pool. This is due to a growing number of pupils with special educational needs in the city.

The new school will be based at the former Perkins Sports Ground on Newark Road.

Whilst St George’s is closed, Inspire Peterborough is offering opportunities for people to keep active, rehabilitate and exercise in the interim.

Inspire Peterborough now offers more than 20 weekly seated exercise/tai chi/yoga classes for people of all ages and abilities. The sessions are accessible, inclusive and affordable and take place across the city.

For more information, email or call 01733 330815.

Find out how Jonathon gets active with the help of Inspire Peterborough. Read his blog ‘From Boccia to Ice Skating, it’s important to find the right activity for you‘.

Summer Festival 2017 – Free for all disabled people

Disability Sports Coach’s (DSC) annual  Summer Festival is back on the 28th July 2017 with Skateboarding, Cheerleading, Wallball & Rugby added to the 2017 line up!

Dig out your club t-shirt and enjoy festivals sports activities with new sports Skateboarding, Cheerleading, Wallball & Rugby added to a long list of favourites, such as Football, Basketball, Cricket, Tennis, Cycling, Boccia, and Dance. With over 20 different sports on offer, there is something for everyone!

Participants are free to enjoy the sports in their own time and go as many ‘come and try’ sports as they choose.

Participation is easy, just turn up on the 28th of July from 10 AM at  Westway Sport and Fitness Centre, 1 Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP

Registration is free and can be done on the day or in advance by calling Lauren on 0207 021 0973 or email

For more information click here

Success from Great Britain and Northern Island in World Transplant Games

Friday 7 July 2017

Back in April we heard from Simon as he was about to embark upon his latest attempt at a gold medal in the World Transplant Games. We find out how Great Britain and Northern Ireland got on.

Simon won a bronze, silver and gold medal at this year’s World Transplant Games in Malaga

When Simon contributed to our Personal Experience Blogs back in April he explained how having a liver transplant led him to enter the Transplant Games. As a novice to competition swimming he came across some obstacles with his goggles filling up with water and his trunks coming halfway down his bum due to the force of a dive, but he persevered. When we spoke to Simon back in April he was about to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the World Transplant Games.

The World Transplant Games Federation has been staging international sporting events and promoting education about transplantation in order to promote the physical success of transplant surgery and the need to raise public awareness and increase organ donation. Through their various initiatives they aim to highlight the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyle in the long term management and wellbeing of transplant recipients.

One of the ways they achieve these objectives is through the hosting of The Summer and Winter World Transplant Games. This year’s Summer World Transplant Games took place in sunny Malaga, Spain at the end of June. There was some tough competition from other countries but Great Britain and Northern Ireland were the clear winners, with 221 medals more than the next runner up, the United States of America.

Simon contributed a Gold medal in 50 metre backstroke, a Silver in 100 metre and a Bronze in 200 metre free to the impressive medal collection.

We caught up with Simon to find out how this year’s competition went:

“Once again it was a great honour to represent my country at the 21st World Transplant Games.”

“The GB swimming team was big, with more than 50 swimmers. Amazing considering as a team we get no government or other funding.

“But the competition was strong. Probably the strongest it had been in recent years. Some other teams even get financial incentives from their governments for medal positions.

“But for me, the competition is about taking part to show how successful organ donation is, and to pay tribute to my donor and all the donor families who, at that most difficult time, when they have just lost a loved one, choose to help another person and donate their loved one’s organs.

“Now back home, my next challenge is to train up for the London Serpentine 1 mile swim in September.”

To find out more about Organ Donation or to add your name to the register click here:

Read Simon’s blog ‘Experience only comes with time and practice, trying things out and failing sometimes

New TfL map to help people with conditions including claustrophobia and anxiety

Friday 7 July 2017

People with claustrophobia or other anxiety conditions could find their journeys less stressful as Transport for London (TfL) recently launched a new map that shows which stations and sections of the TfL network are underground.

The new addition to TfL’s broad selection of downloadable Tube maps will help a range of their customers navigate the network more comfortably by showing them routes they can take to avoid areas with large stretches of tunnels.

There are 270 stations on the Tube network, but more than half are actually above ground, with the Victoria and Waterloo and City lines being the only lines that are wholly underground. In the new design, parts of the lines on Harry Beck’s iconic map have been given a grey overlay to illustrate which stations or sections of track are underground. The new map also shows which London Overground, DLR and TfL Rail services are in tunnels.

For more on the press release click here

Download new map