Wheelchair Wednesday gets off to a flying start

2015-07-08 06:01
Participants in the Spar Wheelchair Wednesday challenge spent four hours in a wheelchair. 


: Participants in the Spar Wheelchair Wednesday challenge spent four hours in a wheelchair. PHoto: LEON HUGO

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WEEK 1 of Spar Wheelchair Wednesday 2015 got off to a flying start with participants soon learning that four hours in a wheelchair is not for sissies!

The five Wednesdays of July will see a total of 120 corporate high flyers spending four hours in a wheelchair.

On July 1, being the first Wednesday of July, twenty PE business people, with the assistance of their helpers, participated in the first leg of this unique campaign which creates awareness regarding the day to day physical and physiological frustrations that people using wheelchairs experience.

Before starting out, all participants received a tight briefing regarding their tasks for the four hours that lay ahead, which included using an ATM, using public toilets and testing accessibility in shopping malls, supermarkets and coffee shops. With their ankles strapped together they were sent on their way.

Suddenly the slightest incline became a mountain.

Algoa FM DJ Kaycee Rossouw and PE’s own South Africa Bachelor/Bachelorette finalist Ivan Green were two of the participants who soon found out that this was no task for the faint-hearted.

Juanita Kauspe from BLG Logistics tried out the ATM.

“ATM access has been a historical problem for wheelchair users. It is encouraging to see changes which have ensured that lower ATMs make transacting safer,” commented Brian Bezuidenhout, Executive Director of APD Nelson Mandela Bay.

The four-hour challenge also results in the wheelchairs that are used by the participants being handed over to needy beneficiaries. This will happen at the Gala Handover Ceremony on August 5 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

“APD Nelson Mandela Bay is proud to be able to lead nationally with this home grown project,” said APD Chairman Garth van Niekerk.

After four years, Spar Wheelchair Wednesday would have seen 368 wheelchairs being donated to needy people and in excess of R1 million raised to assist in sustaining our APD Job Creation Centre in Paterson Road.”

Next Wednesday the same exercise will be repeated from the Sherwood Spar.

Anyone interested in taking part can contact Marie Sin Hidge at 084 586 7704

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