This is a Partnership between Para Dance UK, Birmingham Wheelchair Basketball, and Wheelchair Boxing. The skills and experience between all three of these partners have enabled an engagement and connection to open new opportunities for the disability community to see the possibility of being competitive, creative, and social.
To view all of the interviews please see Motivational Inclusion You Tube Channel
If you have been inspired or motivated by the films on our YouTube page and if you have a story that you like to share about how Sport or Physical Activity has inspired or motivated you please contact email@example.com
Para Dance UK
Para Dance UK is a charity whose aim is to develop and promote dance as an inclusive and inspirational leisure activity across the country. We want to make sure everyone is given the opportunity to get involved with dance and feel like part of a community.
We work with schools, groups, and individuals where our trained instructors enable participants to develop their dancing in a friendly, supportive environment. Dancing is great fun and we want as many people as possible to benefit from it!
At a local level, we have set up groups across the UK that meet regularly to learn and enjoy dancing. We often have our local groups described as ‘families’ and that’s exactly what we want to achieve as we spread through the UK.
Para Dance UK offers and runs courses for people who want to provide their own fun and inclusive dance or Para Dance Sports classes. If you want to take your dancing further, we provide training for instructors and progress dancers across the UK through regional and national competitions.
We also enable people to become highly competitive athletes at an international level and are the national governing body for Para Dance Sport in the UK. Most of all though we want people to have access to fun, inclusive dance activities in a supportive community wherever they are in the country.
Birmingham Wheelchair Basketball
Birmingham Wheelchair Basketball
Who is Birmingham wheelchair basketball?
We still put on wheelchair basketball sessions for our community and deliver events in Birmingham and The West Midlands, such as Wheelchair basketball on New Street Station concourse, however since covid19 we have developed online sessions to deliver to a wider community and thinking outside the box started The motivation and inspiration project, which has seen us deliver over 60 interviews with inspirational, keynote speakers and inspire not only our community during these challenging times but also other groups and communities which have themselves grown and connected with us.
Wheelchair Basketball is an inclusive sport and inspires people of all ages and disabilities and non-disabilities to engage, have fun and play safely together, it brings people together and develops awareness of disability and the importance of why inclusion sport is important.
“Positive action inspires positive outcomes”.
By bringing the community together through our sport we build on the community and inspire the community to build a better future together.
We are Birmingham Wheelchair Basketball!!!
Luiz Faye - www.kronikwarrioruk.org
I have always been an active person, enjoying sport since childhood. My first love has always been swimming. My parents used to call me a fish, after I managed to swim my first length just a couple of days before my third birthday! Although I took part in different sports growing up, I was often hindered by recurring pain and injuries to my knees. This didn’t affect my day to day life, until I was in my late 20’s, whilst serving as a police officer.
By the age of 29, the problems had worsened and were now affecting my pelvis and back. After 2 years of investigation and procedures I was diagnosed as having a mild form of hip dysplasia, which could be corrected and repaired with surgery. In spring 2016, the operation went ahead.
In the months that followed, I learned that surgery hadn’t been successful. Further tests diagnosed a degenerative condition affecting the disks in my spine, pelvis and nerves in my legs. In March 2017, I was medically retired from a ten year career in the police service. Day to day life had changed. I was unable to do things that I once took for granted, like walking my dog, cutting the grass, or nipping up the stairs when I had forgotten something! To be honest, I had struggled to cope with the transition into my new life; but after a year of feeling sorry for myself, I decided that I had to take back some control! I moved into a bungalow, closer to my family in Yorkshire, re-qualified as a Swimming Instructor & Aromatherapist. Later that year, I went on to launch my business. In honour of chronic pain warriors, I named my brand; Kronik Warrior UK.
Next on the agenda was to find a sport to get involved with. My default was to go back to swimming; but this time it would be the para version of the sport. I really enjoyed it, so I began to enquire about joining a competitive para-swim team. Unfortunately I was advised that my conditions were not present on the list of recognised disabilities to participate as a para-swimmer. In other words… I wasn’t disabled enough!
Eager to remain as active as possible, I joined a local gym. Since the surgery, I felt weak and unfit. I had done little else than my physio and rehab exercises for months. I’d lost a lot of confidence in my own abilities and desperately needed to get it back! I was lucky enough to find a fantastic personal trainer who helped to get me back on that path.
During one of my training sessions with him, I pointed to the punch bag, hanging in the corner of the gym. I mentioned that I had always thought about giving boxing a try, but had never got round to doing it. He smiled and simply suggested “Why don’t you do it in your wheelchair?!”... It didn’t take much thinking about, for me to say yes to the challenge! For the next couple of months, we met weekly and did pad work in my wheelchair; learning the basics.
I was really enjoying boxing and decided to look for a coach to help me progress my skills. For the next six months, I travelled to my good friend and boxing coach in Derby for one to one sessions. I absolutely loved it. Not only was I becoming fitter and stronger, whilst learning new skills, I felt that it was having a positive impact on my emotional health too. As my enjoyment of this sport continued to grow, I wanted to train more often but unfortunately the journey down the motorway wasn't something I was physically able to do on a frequent basis.
Not to be defeated and with the support of my coach, I began searching for boxing clubs, local to me who might be able to help me in my quest. That very same day, I received a response from a boxing academy in Barnsley. . He invited me down to the club to check out the gym and watch one of their classes, and the next day I did just that.
Within 10 minutes of being there, I’d got my two wheelchairs out of the car and everyone was giving it a try! We looked around the gym and the coaches began making adjustments for me to be able to train there. The whole team welcomed me with open arms! I knew instantly that I would be happy there. Within a few weeks, I became a voluntary mentor at the club.
Fast forward to October 2019. I became the first female Adaptive Boxer & Coach to represent the World Boxing Council, launching the WBC Adaptive Boxing Programme, at their Annual Convention. This was in the presence of the Heads of Boxing for 166 countries and over 90 world champions.
This was also my debut, boxing outside of the gym! The response we received was absolutely incredible, resulting in a 5 minute standing ovation! From this day, the interest and support for the development of the sport has continued to grow.
Still on a high from our magical Mexican experience, a few weeks later, we broke history by taking part in the world's first male v female adaptive boxing showcase bout at an England v Scotland International Amateur Show, boasting some of Team GB's Olympic hopefuls! This was streamed live on Fight Night TV and also featured in the Boxing News, reported on by Steve Bunce!
In February 2020 I successfully completed my England Boxing Level 1 coaching course. Since then I have had the privilege of teaching adaptive boxers, who travel from as far as South Wales to Yorkshire for their lessons.
I believe passionately that adaptive boxing is an incredible craft which can be enjoyed by all. This sport can significantly improve quality of life through functional, transferable skills that can be used on a day to day basis. The exercises can provide a range of physical benefits from increased fitness levels, strength and conditioning, to hand-eye coordination, memory and core stability/mobility. Adaptive Boxing can also be a powerful tool in improving mental health, confidence and self-esteem. The versatility of the sport also means that it can be enjoyed at a variety of levels and adapted to suit individual abilities.
In March 2020 life as we all knew it changed dramatically as the world went into lock-down due to Covid 19. Although we didn’t know it at the time, the pandemic would mean that our gym doors would close for good. With no access to exercise or human contact in some cases, immediately I became concerned for the emotional well being of our boxers so decided to put on some free online adaptive boxing classes. Initially there were just the five of us but as we began posting about our sessions on social media, the interest began to grow. Within months, we built up to around 35 active participants and 400 members in our dedicated Facebook group.
I could never have imagined that from these classes, that we would grow into the wonderful, inclusive international community of Kronik Warriors we are today. Our classes had begun to capture the hearts of adaptive athletes from a variety of wheelchair sports including basketball, rugby, tennis and fencing. In November 2020 I was approached Caernarfon Celts Wheelchair Basketball Club to deliver an online adaptive box-fit session for their members. We had a fantastic month of classes and are excited to be invited to continue this into 2021.
From December 2020, with hope that the UK will ease it’s way back into our new kind of normal, Kronik Warrior UK announced even more exciting news! We launched our collaboration with Fearon’s Boxing Academy, Derby to provide 1:1 and group adaptive boxing lessons.
The new year has brought even more partnership working. We have now joined forces with Pembroke & Dock Amateur Boxing Academy and Welsh Amateur Boxing to continue to develop this adaptive boxing and increase accessibility within disability sport. We have also now collaborated with ‘Gym Possible’, ‘Quiet Punch’ and ‘Kakana’ to provide online adaptive boxing coaching internationally. From a personal perspective, adaptive boxing has been incredibly empowering for me. I feel both mentally and physically stronger than I have ever been. This sport has enabled me to take on challenges that I never thought possible. As a coach, the fulfillment I get from witnessing our boxers develop and grow in strength, determination and confidence is truly inspiring. My personal goals are to be able to make this sport accessible to all who would like to take part. To continue to grow our amazing community and to one day, create a world champion in this amazing, innovative sport.