UK insurers join initiative for sports-aided rehabilitation awareness

Program developed to help disabled people live healthy and active lives

UK insurers join initiative for sports-aided rehabilitation awareness

Non-Profits & Charities

By Kenneth Araullo

Several prominent UK insurance companies have thrown their support behind an initiative aimed at raising awareness of the significance of sport and exercise in the rehabilitation of individuals with life-changing injuries.

Conceived by experts from Clyde & Co’s spinal injury subject matter group, the “Stoke Mandeville Experience Day” offered opportunities for disabled individuals to engage in sports and lead healthy, active lives. It was developed in collaboration with WheelPower, the British national charity dedicated to wheelchair sport.

This event, which was held Oct. 19 at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Buckinghamshire, united over 70 insurance and legal professionals who had the opportunity to gain firsthand insights from former and current Paralympians, shedding light on the transformative impact of sports. Notable attendees included Allianz, AXA, Aviva, Direct Line Group, MIB, Pen Underwriting, QBE, and RSA.

The event featured speakers like Martin McElhatton OBE, a Paralympian and chief executive of WheelPower, who competed in wheelchair basketball at the 1984 Paralympic Games. Louise Sugden, a Paralympian powerlifter who secured the bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and aspires to compete in Paris 2024, also shared her experiences.

“Events like this help to support our work providing sport and physical activity as part of rehabilitation. As someone who has personally benefited from the incredible physical, mental and social benefits through playing sport for over 30 years it is vital that we continue to support people to be active and live a full life after spinal injury,” McElhatton said.

Throughout the day, WheelPower also organised sports competitions, including wheelchair basketball, badminton, sitting volleyball, boccia, archery, and table tennis. In addition to promoting awareness of the physical and psychological benefits of sports, the event successfully raised over £20,000 to support WheelPower's mission.

“We were delighted that so many insurers and legal professionals were able to join us for what was an educational and energetic event. It was great to see so many attendees unleash their competitive sides, while simultaneously raising vital funds for WheelPower to continue to empower disabled people to enjoy an active lifestyle through accessible sports,” Clyde & Co partner Mike Dobson said.

Following the success of this year’s event, Clyde & Co has already announced plans for next year’s iteration, with that event coinciding with the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

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