Wheelchair Rhythmic Gymnastics
Triumphant Michael Taylor (front centre) the first person in the history of the sport in the UK ever to gain a perfect score in competition (he did this twice in the same day)
What is wheelchair rhythmic gymnastics?
Rhythmic gymnasts use various pieces of hand apparatus such as hoops, ropes, balls and ribbons. Routines are performed to music and each apparatus has a standard set of movements which must be included in each routines. For instance when using the ball, the ball must be rolled over different parts of the body, and when using the ribbon, spiral shapes and figure of 8 shapes must be included.
When did the club first begin?
The Cheshire Academy first started wheelchair rhythmic gymnastics during 1994. Since that time it has regularly competed at competition all over the UK
What sort of disabilities art catered for?
Wheelchair rhythmic gymnastics is not just for individuals who use a wheelchair all the time but is suitable for individuals who may have ambulant difficulties. Individuals with balance difficulties are also able to access these wheelchair rhythmic routines.
Individuals who have difficulties grasping the apparatus can use various adaptions to assist their participation in the sport. For instance when using the ribbon, the gymnast can wear a special glove through which the handle of the ribbon (the wand) can be secured.
Is this sport only for female participants?
Although in mainstream competition rhythmic gymnastics is accessible only by females, in some disability organisations such as Special Olympics the sport is accessed by both male and females.
The first 'perfect score' of 5 pointsgained in the UK was obtained by a male namely Michael Taylor at the Special Olympic (Southern Region) games held during 1999 in Portsmouth. He gained perfect scores twice on the same day.
What successes have the club had?
The Cheshire Academy won all round wheelchair rhythmic gymnastics titles at the National Special Olympic games in 1997 and 2001. At the British Amateur Gymnastics Association National Disabilities Championships at which wheelchair competitors could compete (last held in 2000). Michael Taylor collected the All Round National Champion title.
Victoria Perez (centre) who will be competing at the Special Olympic games wheelchair rhythmic gymnastics competition in Glasgow
What's planned for 2005?
The Cheshire Academy has 7 rhythmic gymnasts selected to take part at the forthcoming GB National Special Olympic games to be held this year in Glasgow. Wheelchair user Victoria Perez will be competing at the Wheelchair Rhythmic gymnastics competition.
How to contact the club
If you would like to know more about our wheelchair rhythmic gymnastics club we can be contacted on (01270) 255355 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org