IPC Supports Design Low-Cost Racing Chair

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has partnered with Motivation, an international development charity supporting people with mobile disabilities, to design a high-quality low-cost racing wheelchair. 17 Apr 2012
Motivation Racing Wheelchair

The Motivation racing wheelchair was tested out in Tunisia

ⒸMotivation/ David Constantine

“Everybody in wheelchair racing will tell you that you should have a chair that is fitted to the individual.”

Motivation plans to produce a chair that costs under US $1,000, to help develop wheelchair racing in low-income countries.

A prototype of the chair was recently trialled at the sixth International Athletics Meeting in Tunisia from 23-27 March.

As Motivation goes into the next stage of fine-tuning the design of the wheelchair, it has issued a survey for all wheelchair athletes to fill out online. www.surveymonkey.com/s/H77J72B

All information will be kept strictly confidential.

“We got such positive response straight away in Tunisia. We’ve never done a racing wheelchair before, but people were so complimentary of it,” said Jason Williams, Business Development Manager at Motivation.

“With this questionnaire, we want to get some more details. We can get that information from experts, but it’s nice to have that large sample of data just to back up what individuals think, because it’s a bit more objective than one person telling us how they think it should be,” Williams said.

The survey asks wheelchair racers about their seat width, size of the front and rear wheels, diameter of and material covering the push rim, as well as the weight of the wheelchair.

To keep costs at a minimum, Motivation plans to provide about four different sizes of wheelchair.

“Everybody in wheelchair racing will tell you that you should have a chair that is fitted to the individual,” said Williams. “But from where we’re coming from that’s not possible to do that and keep a very low cost. So what we need is to be able to decide on four sizes which will cover most people and give the most benefit to the largest group of people possible, so that’s what the survey would help us with.”

The organization plans to launch the chair at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Motivation has already designed low-cost Wheelchair Tennis and Wheelchair Basketball chairs that have helped to develop grassroots sports in low-income countries.

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