Sport

Cybathlon: Making disability sport more accessible

Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT) July 15, 2015
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Sophie Elwes is a 26-year-old trainee teacher from London. She is disabled and, although she loves sport herself, doesn't think all disability sport should be linked to elite level competition. Sophie Elwes
"It's damaging how all the publicity about disability sport is about people who are really, really good at it," says Elwes. "There's nothing about people who aren't." Sophie Elwes
"It's a hard thing to accept that you might play a sport and not be amazing," says Elwes, pictured with friends after a charity event in 2014.
Cybathlon is a new event offering hope for people like Elwes, who want everyday tasks to be made simpler and access to sport cheaper. Dr. Aldo Faisal (pictured center) leads Imperial College London's Cybathlon team. Imperial College
Invictus Games captain Dave Henson hopes for big things from Cybathlon. He says his own prosthetics no longer seem modern-- and he believes it's possible to make much cheaper, more beneficial artificial limbs in future, with Cybathlon's help. Help for Heroes
"Prosthetic knee joints are only really good for walking in a straight line on level terrain," says Henson. "Things like riding a bike or walking up and down stairs are really where you start to notice." Help for Heroes
Martin Colclough -- right, with Henson -- is Help for Heroes' head of sports recovery. "It's not so much about the athletic ability of the people using the devices," he says, "it's about how clever and transferable the technology can become." Help for Heroes
Elwes -- here skiing with a friend Colorado -- says Cybathlon could be an "important and fundamental step" for ordinary disability sports participants. Sophie Elwes