Freedom Wheels a centrepiece of TADWA’s first sports day in Bunbury

Jacinta CantatoreBunbury Herald
A feature of the sports event was an exhibition wheelchair basketball game featuring Wheelchair Sports South West.
Camera IconA feature of the sports event was an exhibition wheelchair basketball game featuring Wheelchair Sports South West. Credit: TADWA

The key to any activity is having the right tools for the job, and thanks to creative thinking and innovative design, a Bunbury group helped community members with the job of having fun.

Technology for Ageing and Disability WA held its Freedom Wheels Bikes and Sports Day at the Bunbury PCYC on Friday, aimed at giving people with any kind of disability a chance to try out different sports in a safe and inclusive way.

Activities at the free event included soccer, cricket, volleyball and gymnastics, as well as an exhibition wheelchair basketball game featuring Wheelchair Sports South West.

The Freedom Wheels are specialised bikes and trikes that cater to all levels of support required.
Camera IconThe Freedom Wheels are specialised bikes and trikes that cater to all levels of support required. Credit: TADWA

One of the day’s highlights was the Freedom Wheels, specialised bikes and trikes that cater to all levels of support required.

The bikes can be used with different levels of mobility, from have extra wheels or assisted steering, to being able to carry a wheelchair in the front section while a friend, family or support person rides with bike from the back.

The event is one of many TADWA will be hosting in the South West this year.

TADWA has been part of the WA community for more than 36 years and as part of its My Active Life campaign it will be focusing on meaningfully engaging people with disabilities in the South West and other parts of regional WA.

“We believe that every person deserves the chance to ride a bike and so over the next 14 months we will be running similar events that help to showcase our range of Freedom Wheels products and services available to individuals, their families, their carers and community groups as well as the pathways for participation,” TADWA manager of sale and partnerships Mike Hamilton said.

Bunbury MLA Don Punch inspects some of the specially designed Freedom Wheels.
Camera IconBunbury MLA Don Punch inspects some of the specially designed Freedom Wheels. Credit: TADWA

“The plan is to develop a sustainable ongoing model that will help to contribute to local capacity building within regional communities and enable people with disabilities of all ages to live a more active life.”

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said the event showed how the people can come together with innovative design to create inclusive communities.

“Sports and recreational activities are cornerstones of social inclusion and TADWA are leading the way helping to make sure everyone who wants to participate has the opportunity,” he said.

“The bespoke sporting equipment demonstrated by TADWA today really shows just how innovative we are and the importance of original design in creating opportunities for people experiencing access barriers to fully participate in community life.”

Freedom Wheels technician Alan Hill, Bunbury MLA Don Punch, TADWA's South West operations manager Jayson Hitchens, and recreation and mobility manager Matt Jackson.
Camera IconFreedom Wheels technician Alan Hill, Bunbury MLA Don Punch, TADWA's South West operations manager Jayson Hitchens, and recreation and mobility manager Matt Jackson. Credit: TADWA

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