Motivation designs new sports wheelchairs

Two new sports wheelchairs have been designed by charity Motivation in a bid to make sport accessible for disabled people in low-income countries.
At the suggestion of the International Paralympic Committee, David Constantine, co-founder of Motivation, has designed the Worldmade Sport in two models – tennis and basketball – which he feels will develop mobility, build confidence and encourage healthy lifestyles, promoting inclusion and independence when the chairs go on sale.

‘Elite athletes in many other countries can afford very expensive chairs, but if there’s a group of guys getting together in Kenya and playing in old chairs, they can never get to be viable competitors,’ says Constantine.

Most sports wheelchair models can cost upward of £3000, but Motivation’s designs will each cost around £150.
Constantine has received a sample of each chair, both of which are now being manufactured and will be ready in 45 days, although Motivation is already taking orders.
Other charities and sports-development bodies are likely to buy the wheelchairs, according to Constantine, who says the chairs are sold with spare parts and are easy to maintain.
The wheelchairs have the backing of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation and the International Tennis Federation, but Motivation received funding from the Audi Design Foundation for the project. ‘There were two grants from Audi – one for the design stage and a separate one to take it to production,’ Constantine says.
The two designs are essentially the same, but the basketball chair has a protective guard around the front wheel. ‘In the field of wheelchair basketball there are strict heights and measurements. Tennis doesn’t have that, but we stuck to the basketball design. They both have the same camber,’ says Constantine.
Constantine, who uses a wheelchair, set up Motivation in 1991 after winning a Frye Memorial Prize as a student at the Royal College of Art for his first wheelchair design, aimed at disabled people in the developing world.

Worldmade sport features:

  • An adjustable backrest with three height settings
  • 26-inch (66cm) wheels with 36-spoke aluminium rims and quick-release axles
  • Height-adjustable fifth wheel with 3-inch (7.5cm) polyurethane castor wheel
  • Fixed welded frame with lightweight, thin-walled street tubing
  • Adjustable footrest with three height settings
  • A defensive wing is available on the basketball model

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