The journey to success, the power of signposting. Supplying people with the vital skills to enrich their lives and to hear success stories is great. But to hear, read or witness people progressing without a follow-up is equally rewarding. Signposting people to other activities or services has an unspeakable power to improve their lives.
A lost passion
I did a wheelchair skills training session with a young lady. She had a spinal cord injury. While training, she said she loved being in the water and swimming. She used to swim at a pretty high standard. But after suffering her injury, that passion for it wasn’t the same. She couldn’t tell me whether it was the sense of floating freely in water or the adrenalin created from the exsertion of finishing several lengths of the pool. So she decided not to continue in the past time.
If I can help someone, I do my best to. Suppose you have suddenly been plunged into a new situation; finding resources that can help recreationally or in other aspects of life can be challenging. With knowledge of disability sports and pastimes and a partial understanding of how the client felt, It was obvious to me that a ‘team’ sport like wheelchair basketball wouldn’t be suitable or appropriate.
As we all know
As we all know, keeping busy is the best thing for mental health and fitness. Knowing this, it was preferable to signpost to a more individual sport. Wheelchair Racking. I put the client in touch with a well-known academy that offers wheelchair racing, although I was a bit concerned as there was quite a considerable distance for them to travel to the training ground.
Some wheelchair skills sessions have a follow-up. Just a point of contact to chat to ask how things are going. The client I refer to in this post had a follow-up call, said things were going well and was now active in wheelchair racing. This was great to hear.
Satisfaction, it’s why I do it!
The journey to success can take some time. Several years later and I have another client that would benefit hugely from more regular peer support, but without knowing he’s getting it. I visited him in his North London home and had a sense of distance from him. He was a teenager.
Knowing, from personal experience, the power of mixing with peers through sport has I signposted to wheelchair racing again. Before sending contact details, I checked the team nearest his home’s website for training days, times, etc. Seeing the name of the past client, who used to be a swimmer, was listed as a team member and has kept at wheelchair racing finding a fresh start in a new sport with like-minded people.