Yesterday, Lucy Allan MP met with Telford resident John McIntear, a cricket umpire who uses a powered wheelchair whilst officiating.
John has created a campaign called “Sports Officiating from a Powered Wheelchair (SOPW)” which is in the process of being launched very soon. SOPW will aim to encourage national charities to fund Powered Wheelchairs for disabled individuals wishing to officiate in any sport.
John, who was diagnosed with Terminal Cancer in 2018, raised the money for his own powered wheelchair through a GoFundMe campaign and support from the Royal British Legion as he is himself a veteran. He now wishes to push for others with mobility needs to have the opportunity to follow their passions and officiate sport.
Lucy will seek a debate in Parliament to promote this issue, ask Ministers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport what more can be done and seek cross-party support for John’s initiative. It is very important to ensure there are no barriers for disabled people who wish to take part in sports.
Whilst the UK has led the way supporting Paralympic sports, it is sadly the case that many who wish to officiate in sport are hindered by their mobility. Lucy is determined to raise John’s campaign in parliament.
Lucy Allan MP said:
“I was glad to meet with John today to discuss SOPW. John’s campaign to secure disabled wheelchairs for officials in all sports is such an important project and his story is one of determination to follow his passions even as his mobility became more difficult.
I will submit a request for a debate to raise this issue in parliament. It is important to seek support from across the house for such excellent initiatives, and I will also raise this directly with my colleagues in the Government.”