A unique wheelchair developed with UK Sport funding at Loughborough University’s Sports Technology Institute, which is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is being used by the British men’s and women’s Paralympic basketball team. The seat is the first made-to-order seat and created by first scanning the athlete’s 3D image and then CAD technology is used to shape the outer layer of the seat. The seats consist of foam interiors and plastic shells, and are a kilogram lighter than conventional wheelchair basketball seats.
The seats also take into account the athlete’s disability. If a certain athlete has a spinal cord disability, then more support is provided for the lower back area on the seat. This is the first time custom seats are offered to athletes, where a few years ago, there was no chance of obtaining any such opportunities.