Paediatric orthopaedic surgeon wins award for adapting sport for people with disabilities
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon Rachael Hutchinson, from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, has won a joint sports award with former boxer and personal trainer Jon Thaxton for their work in encouraging children and adults with disabilities to be more active and take up sport.
The award was for Services to Disability Sport, sponsored by Norse, which was presented at the Active Norfolk Sports Awards on 14 November. They were also shortlisted in the top three for the services to the community award.
The initiative, which they set up only a year ago and is proving a huge success, was recognised in the awards and is aimed at children and adults with long-standing disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s Disease and other physical disabilities. It can also help people to improve their fitness after surgery/illness or periods of reduced physical function. It is based on using boxercise and adapted high intensity interval circuit training methods which can be done seated or standing and is also suitable for wheelchair users too.
Rachael Hutchinson says: “We are delighted to see our work in supporting children and adults with disabilities recognised. Strength and aerobic fitness is so important for people with physical disabilities as they have to work harder than their peer group. It is especially important in keeping children with disabilities functioning day-to-day as young adults. Both children and adults with disabilities can find getting started with any physical exercise a struggle and these classes allow people to start at a level their physical disability allows and set their own individual goals which they can then improve and build on with time. The methods also mean that participants can challenge their cardiovascular fitness further rather than being limited by their physical disability first, so keeping their heart and lungs healthier.”
“We have also seen huge benefits in self-confidence and concentration with all involved and plan to develop the classes further to cover those with learning disabilities and concentration issues as well as other medical conditions”