Specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell help people to access rehabilitation programmes to help them make progress in their recovery so that they can live as independently as possible.
There are 9.4m people with disabilities in the UK but only one in six takes part in sport regularly, and Irwin Mitchell hopes that the campaign will also encourage more people to get involved*.
Experts at the law firm find that sport is often a good way to not only help with physical aspects of rehabilitation but can also help motivate and inspire people who find themselves coping with disabilities to get involved in new activities and learn to come to terms with their new situation.
Launched to coincide with National Paralympic Day (26 July), the ‘Don’t Quit, Do It’ campaign features a series of videos of people who have used sport to help overcome their injuries including wheelchair badminton, amputee cycling, rowing and horse-riding.
Those featured in the video have all suffered injuries and have instructed Irwin Mitchell to help them with their rehabilitation programmes. Some are now even competing at a high level in disability sport and are representing GB in various competitions.
A promo video also features a poem voiced by Giles Long MBE who is one of the most successful Paralympic swimmers of our time and a supporter of the campaign.
Neil Whiteley, head of the serious injury team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Many of our clients experience first-hand the benefits that sport can have both physically in their rehabilitation and in boosting their motivation and morale, often when struggling to come to terms with their injuries.
“We work to obtain support in the form of specialist physical therapy, rehabilitation and where possible access to sports and gym facilities and personal trainers to help people on their journey to improve their quality of life. We passionately believe in investing in physical and mental wellbeing is a key component of life after a major injury or illness
“Don’t Quit, Do it, is about encouraging and inspiring people get involved in sport and to show that there is help and support out there for people who need it.
“Our research shows that specialist rehabilitation following serious injuries can have a massive positive effect on those involved, helping them to become more independent and often significantly reducing the burden on the NHS and benefits systems.”
Giles Long said: “I’m passionate about inspiring people to get involved in sports no matter what their background or disability. I had to overcome the odds from a young age and I try to encourage and empower people to overcome doubt and make a difference to their lives.
“Every journey starts with a single step which is why the campaign says Don’t Quit, Do It, and hopefully it will encourage people to get involved in the campaign and sports.
“The Paralympics is at the pinnacle of sport, but at its core sport is about enjoyment and it’s about each and every person progressing in a way that is both challenging and rewarding.”
Irwin Mitchell is also working with double world champion wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft, MBE, as she seeks to qualify for the Rio Paralympics. She won two Gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and will be competing at the 2015 IPC World Athletics Championships in Doha in October
Hannah, who was left with disabilities after suffering two cardiac arrests shortly after her birth, said: “I’m extremely grateful to Irwin Mitchell for the faith they have shown in me by supporting me in the next stage of my Paralympic career.
“Partnering with them is more than just sponsorship though as the firm is really committed to working with people who are fighting to overcome their disabilities and I hope I can play a role in helping inspire others.
“Disability sport is currently more popular than ever and hopefully if I keep doing what I’m doing I can be a role model for people who might be struggling to understand what their aims and ambitions should be.”
More information on the campaign and videos can be found here http://www.irwinmitchell.com/disability-sport
A promo film can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn2QmHE0uxw
A case study film can be seen here of a wheelchair badminton player https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QtjmDhZ6NM