Monthly Archives: May 2018

Disabled Sport Equipment

Many of Britain’s gyms, leisure centers and swimming pools are “no-go zones” for disabled people and will struggle to cope with an expected surge in interest in fitness activities, following the Paralympic games in 2012.

Although most gyms provided disabled parking spaces, for example, many of the bays are not wide enough to enable a wheelchair to be unpacked from a car. Although a cursory attempt has been made at making the building accessible to disabled and wheelchair users, little thought has been put into an independent wheelchair user gaining access through heavy (non-automatic) doors – with internal doors also proving to be difficult to manoeuver through with ease.

Many gyms have made the minimum changes to adhere to the law – to provide basic access, but have not embraced the full spirit of the law which is to encourage, involve and promote fitness to anyone regardless of their ability.

A crowdsourced survey* of hundreds of gyms across the UK by charity volunteers suggests that many local facilities are partially inaccessible, difficult to navigate and expensive to join. Some did not have specialist disabled sport equipment and nearly half lacked staff trained in disability awareness.

The survey of 300 UK leisure facilities found that:

    • Nearly a third of gyms did not have an automatic door at the entrance to the gym, while some were fitted with heavy internal doors that were difficult to open. One survey reporter said he watched a wheelchair user forced to open such a door by pushing it with his head.
    • Although many gyms had lifts, just over one in five were not working properly. A common problem was that lifts were too small for larger wheelchairs and control buttons were set too high
    • In one case, it was reported that a lift leading to the gym area of a leisure centre did not appear to have been working for more than a year.
  • A quarter of swimming pools did not have hoists to support disabled people to get into the water, while 31% of gyms did not have any fitness equipment that was suitable for disabled people.

This situation is solvable and the Government has encouraged local authorities and gym owners to become accredited as IFI (Inclusive Fitness Initiative) and literally open their doors to all.

IFI is a national scheme whereby fitness suites are awarded grants to increase the range of equipment (such as disabled bikes) that they can offer that is ‘user-friendly’ to disabled people. Staff will receive disability equality training and the fitness instructors are further trained in working with disabled.

The legacy that was promised to inspire a generation must surely be questioned if a proportion of the population who may want to take up exercise in a gym can’t even get in the building!

There is the potential to involve many disabled people in sports. Offering the ability to participate in sports is not a favour due to disabled people, but a responsibility of all local councils. To provide disabled sport equipment, along with adequate staff training should be the aim for every major leisure centre in the country.

Developments in Sports Equipment

The Beijing Olympics has seen the world once again fall in love with athletic pursuits. Although the athletes make it look all too easy, more and more of us are taking to the streets, fields and pools in a bid to get fit. This article looks at the latest weird and wonderful items to hit the lucrative sport equipment market, offering an impartial and expert assessment of the products.

Golf is supposed to be a relaxing and fulfilling pursuit however as many of us know for the wrong reasons it can turn into all out warfare, especially when playing inter-office rounds. If you are looking to get a head start in your golf game then the D2 Swing Trainer might be the piece of sports equipment that you require. It is a balanced club which distributes weight via strategically placed weights that make it hard to back swing incorrectly.

It cost 100 US dollars and is available in three payment instalments and it does improve your swing however is only available from the US currently. Many golf pros who swear that they have not received endorsements from the company in question, have been endorsing the product since the launch. It might not be worth the money as a product however any edge you can get is good.

NuMetrex have launched the next generation of heart monitoring equipment for those of us who are brave enough to test just how unfit we are. The predeceasing item of sports equipment was the heart monitoring sports bra, which used sensors in the bra to monitor and transmit information to the accompanying watch which displays the data instantaneously.

The latest addition uses the same technology however leaves a bit more to the imagination, as it is modelled as a tank top. Unfortunately if you are of the Y chromosome persuasion then it is not for you, unless you are in the habit of wearing clothing for women. As far as sports equipment goes this is pretty cutting edge and comes with a lovely array of colours to match your gym kit.

If you are one of those gym users who are not too enthusiastic about getting your heart rate up but love the sauna and steam features that the gym has to offer then this product could be for you. The PS1 Home Sauna is a simple flat-pack sauna kit that can be folded and put away after use. It looks like something Houdini might have been tied in before he was dropped into shark infested waters, but it is practical and easy to use.

Sports Equipment

The excitement. The energy. The passion. The freedom. The challenge. The victory. Sports are a part of many people’s lives. For some it’s just a hobby. For others, it’s a way of life. But there’s something that’s changing everything.

New levels of comfort, ease and affordability are making some sports more competitive and skillful than ever. Although made popular in king size mattresses, Memory Foam has been used in all sorts of products in recent years. Notably, it has become a popular material for use in sports equipment and fitness equipment alike. Memory foam has been used in the helmet industry to increase comfort and personalization of helmets, as well as providing more safety than normal foam filler, due to it’s higher density.

It has also found popular use in various kinds of supports and braces. Not all equipment used in sports is for on the field though. Sports physiotherapists have found that the stuff is great for benches and physiotherapy tables, as well as being a recommended mattress for those recovering from sports injuries.

Memory Foam has also found its way into the world of competition running shoes. Shoes like the popular Asics GEL-Foundation 7, which employs a the foam in its heel collar, ensuring that the shoe molds freely to the athlete’s foot, and prevents those nasty new-shoe blisters.

It’s also been suggested by some that investigation needs to be made into the use of Memory Foam in sports padding equipment, such as cricket and batting pads, shin pads, arm guards, and possibly even some fencing equipment. It started with NASA, made it to the bedroom, but now it seems that Memory Foam refuses to be kept inside mattresses – it’s bursting out and taking centre stage in the world of modern sports technology, along side it’s myriad other uses.

Tips On Buying Sports Equipment

Buying sports equipment online in the UK can be a bit daunting, with shops offering discounts here and special offers there. It is so important however, that you manage to get a good deal on quality equipment. Here are some vital shopping tips for a safe experience when buying sports equipment online:

Exercise equipment stores Some stores will offer a good range of equipment at all prices, and others will only offer products within a particular price band. Whichever you buy from you must be sure that it is a reputable store with good knowledge of the sports industry. We suggest you buy from specialist fitness suppliers rather than department stores, as their advice into what to buy and their after sales care will be of much benefit to you.

Quality You may be tempted to buy discount or second hand equipment, please be aware that these will not end up being such a bargain as they are often a lot poorer in durability and workmanship. Although the price may seem inviting, you will end up having to work twice as hard to get the results that quality equipment will give you!

Warranties Be aware of equipment with a short, or parts only warranty. You need to make sure that you get value for money and that your equipment is going to last. Never buy equipment with a RETURN-TO-BASE warranty!

Compare prices This may seem like an obvious one, but it is so important to compare prices when shopping for sports equipment. The difference in some prices can be huge, what looks like a special offer in one store may actually be more than the standard price in another. Don’t be sucked into buying the first thing you see, do your research and see what other stores have on offer.

Taking Care of Sports Equipment

If you have ever been in a vehicle with a hockey bag, you know the smell I mean.

Sprays and powders don’t seem to work very well. Sprays encapsulate the smell and drop it into the fabric, they do not eliminate it. Many sprays have toxins and chemicals in them as well. Add that to the smell of sweat and you have a nasty mix. The kids complained about the powders. They did not like the residue left behind and when used in skates or cleats the powder ended up between their toes and that did not feel very good.

Airing out equipment is great, especially if it can be laid out in the sun. The sun dries the equipment and helps to reduce the MRSA bacteria growing inside the fabric of the equipment.

Synthetics and plastics seem to hold smell more that natural fibers. With many pieces of sports equipment it’s difficult to check the content. Footwear, skates and gloves do have labels that tell you what they are made of. Leather is great, if you can find it. It dries and lasts longer that synthetics.

There are several new fabrics on the market now being used for jerseys and under armour type clothing. This new generation of fabrics are called moisture management cloths. The most interesting that I have come across recently is called CHITOSANTE. It is created when Chitosan (made from the shells of shrimp & crabs) is combined with textile fibers in the finishing process. It binds easily and permanently. It is BREATHABLE, ANTIBACTERIAL and is a fully functional wicking item.

Having a healthy, active lifestyle includes being informed about what you are wearing. Keeping sports equipment and clothing smelling fresh and clean helps keep the athlete healthy.