Flotilla at Castle Quay

Published on 06 March 2017

A round Britain tour highlighting wheelchair sports will arrive in Bedford on Saturday April 22nd.

A colourful dragon boat carrying a special wheel chair will paddle up and down outside the Bedford Swan Hotel stretch of the river. From 11am to 3pm there will be activities and games on the grounds in front of the Castle Mound. A picnic will be held on the Castle Mound grounds in the afternoon at which all will be welcome.

There will be the chance to enter a riverside walk competition and win Love Bedford gift vouchers donated by local Bedford businesses.

The event is part of a nationwide Rotary Club of Great Britain & Ireland and Wheelpower charity relay. The challenge is to find unusual ways to transport a sports wheelchair around the country. In Bedford that will be on the Great River Ouse thanks to the Cambridgeshire Royals Dragon Boat Club - surrounded by other river crafts from local clubs and organisations. They will meet local wheelchair sports stars at the Bedford Swan Hotel terrace from 11am. 

An annual Wheelchair Challenge, the concept of which was dreamt up by Howard Darbon, President of Sport Bedford and organiser of the successful pre-London 2012 Training Camps, has raised more than £30,000 to date. It has been held every October at the International Sport Stadium in Barker’s Lane.

It inspired WheelPower and Rotary International to organise the Round Britain event, thus enabling more disabled people to fulfil their potential and ambitions in sport.

Howard is also driving forward a project to establish a Wheelchair Racing Club in Bedford to cater for those who want to expand their involvement in sport, but cannot currently access it as the nearest clubs are many miles away. 

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