Adapted cycling for children
We have collaborated with ‘Pedal Power’ to raise awareness of the opportunity for children with cerebral palsy to participate in adapted cycling.
Children experience training to walk, run and race with the support of a three-wheeled frame, so widening access to resources by which they can gain independence and healthy lifestyles. As a consequence of the Pedal Power project the ‘Race Running Dragons’ club was set up in 2013, with our staff volunteering as safeguarding officers.
Our Students in the School of Healthcare Sciences volunteer at ‘Pedal Power’ and the ‘Race Running Dragons’ club. This enables them to contribute to the community and improves their employability skills upon graduation.
Pedal Power has provided an opportunity for 35 children to experience independence on adapted cycles with 6 healthcare students volunteering and supporting this group. At the Race Running Dragons Club in Cardiff 12 children and young people experience training to walk, run and race with the support of a three-wheeled frame.
The Race Running Dragons attracts undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy students with over 50 students having been involved over the past 5 years. In 2016 a student volunteer attended the Annual Race Running Games in Copenhagen funded by the University Global Opportunities scheme.
The work of this project has been presented at several national and international conferences, and as a result, it raises awareness in clinical practice.
With specialist support, children with mobility issues and other additional needs can access and learn to ride bikes that are suited to them. This Children in Need story highlights the work of Pedal Power in Cardiff.
Fund raising from various local sources has allowed the ‘Race Running Dragons’ club to further support independence for children:
- The donation of 3 all-terrain wheelchairs and the assistance of 3 volunteer Cardiff BSc Physiotherapy students lead to 3 disabled children ascending and descending Pen y Fan mountain (2018).
- A beach hut donated by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and availability of a mobile hoist has supported disabled children and their families in accessing local beaches.
This project also aligns with ‘The Health of the Nation’ and the need to enable people living with long term conditions to remain or become more active in their lifestyles.
Dawn’s experiences with this project have also gone on to inform the ‘Development of Accessible Play Spaces Toolkit (Play Wales)’ September 2017 which will shape the future design of play spaces with regard to all disability needs.