A group of young disabled people have given their seal of approval to three of the flagship Commonwealth Games venues in Glasgow, ahead of the international competitions in July.
Whizz-Kidz teamed up with disabled access review website Euan’s Guide, to review the Emirates Stadium, Tollcross International Swimming Centre and The Hydro to ensure accessibility for disabled visitors during the game. And they were very impressed with what they found!
Whizz-Kidz Ambassador Arthur said: ‘We’ve had a lot of positive responses from the venues especially Tollcross. That was out of this world! They’ve gone above and beyond to meet and exceed expectations.
‘They’ve actually done away with their pool hoists and are now using something very futuristic called pool pods. Basically you have an infrared chip attached to a band on your arm so that it can track where you are and can take you from the changing places changing room to the pool and drops you into the pool. You can then swim as long as you like and as soon as you want to get out you swim up to the pool pod, it drops back in to take you out of the pool and back to the changing room.
‘I feel incredibly excited about the prospect of something like this as I now have the independence to go and use the leisure centre like anybody else without having to depend on someone to take me. I hope that other pools and leisure centres take note and use this facility.’
Whizz-Kidz Ambassador Josh said: ‘[The hydro] is amazing! I didn’t expect it to be this big and spacious. It’s exceeded expectations because of the way it looks on the outside; I expected it to be smaller inside. It’s my favourite venue from today!’
Euan, who has motor neurone disease and is founder of Euan’s Guide, said ‘As a keen sports fan I’m really looking forward seeing the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth venues first hand. I’m really pleased that the disabled access reviews of the venues on EuansGuide.com will allow disabled people and their families and friends to plan their visits to the venues with confidence, both during the Games and afterwards.’
Pauline O'Neill, Commonwealth Games Accessibility and Inclusion Officer, said: ‘We are delighted with the response of the Whizz-Kidz to these three venues that will be used during the Commonwealth Games and beyond. It was particularly rewarding to see the reaction to the changing facilities at Tollcross and the reaction to the ‘swim pods’ that are soon to be available at the centre. We were also so pleased to see their positive response to the view from the wheelchair spectator seating at the SSE Hydro and the fantastic facilities at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
‘We hope that these young people and their families will go on to enjoy and benefit from these excellent and accessible facilities left in legacy after the Glasgow Commonwealth Games have concluded, and we would like to thank everyone involved for their invaluable input.’