Technology takes Paralympians to new levels
A charity group named Remap designs technology for helping physically challenged individuals. Two engineers, David Sheffield and Doug Watt, volunteer for the cause. Currently, they are both developing a wheelchair for Shaun Sewell, a Shot Put thrower, who lost control of both his legs in a motorbike accident.
“We were asked to make a chair which was totally adjustable in every way so that we could then use it not only just for Shaun but for other athletes. And then we could find the exact correct positions for the way they sit, the way they hold the pole, the way they lean back and so on,” says David.
Both the engineers made detailed preparations, including taking physical measurements of Sewell’s body and watching him throw, to know where his body needed extra support and design the wheelchair to suit him perfectly. The wheelchair will be used as a model for future athletes, they say.
In the words of Shaun, “I believe it's going to make a huge difference. I'm throwing really well with the frame that I have now, which is not right for me. So to have something right is only going to help improve my distance.”
Peter Parry, the chairman of the trust, says “We can help them support themselves. We can provide them with the pole to help them balance their body. But what we can’t do is have things like springs or hydraulics also, which would give them an unfair advantage. Because then it becomes a battle of who can make the best device rather than who is the best athlete.”
Probably technology is going to take mankind 'leaps and bounds'.