Here & now: Isaac Harvey
Isaac Harvey on the joys of skating
My name is Isaac, and I am the president of Wheels and Wheelchairs. We are a group of London-based skaters, rollerbladers and wheelchair users who go out together regularly.
Our story started in 2012 when a group of French rollerbladers and wheelchair users called Mobile En Ville challenged themselves to skate from Paris to London for the 2012 Paralympic Games. When they arrived in London, skaters here were inspired to start something similar. So a couple of them got together, and that is how Wheels and Wheelchairs was born.
The wheelchair users are pushed in sports wheelchairs with a specially adapted extra wheel added to the front. This raises the two front wheels to stop any wobble when travelling at speed. The extra wheel also has a brake attached to it, so we are able to stop and slow down when needed.
Before the first national lockdown, Wheels and Wheelchairs would meet on Saturday mornings in Battersea Park in London. We skated there with Easy Saturday Skate, a group of skaters at every level from beginner to professional. We would skate together around the park three times at a pace that everybody is able to keep up with. It is such a great environment, as everybody is nice and friendly to each other. It has also been the place where other skaters have become interested in what we do, and then join us as regular pushers. We are really grateful for these skaters who volunteer to push our wheelchair users so that they are able to experience the thrill and joy of wheeling around at high speeds…
This is an extract from an article published in the May 2021 edition of Reform