This is a shout out for David Weir and his Weir Archer Academy (WAA) and the help and support they need to develop an all weather, purpose built and fit for purpose indoor training facility at the club’s home track.
Weir Archer has applied for a £25k award through the Aviva Community Fund and they need your votes please – you have 10 each and they are free here – https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/4-1232
They are one of 591 projects – the top 20 of which will go through to the Final and be panel judged. This amazing club has secured over 5500 votes – indicative of the recognition it deserves – but needs another 5000 by Tuesday 20 November to be sure of making ‘the Live Show’ judged Final!
David and Jenny Archer, his lifelong coach and the underpinning of his phenomenal success as a wheelchair racer and para athlete, set up this volunteer run club as part of David’s London 2012 legacy to provide grassroots to elite development for wheelchair racing athletes. They rely totally on the generosity of donors and sponsors to fund activities and ensure sustainability.
“Sport is at the centre of what we do. There is no doubt about that. But this is about more than just racing. WAA is a family and the health and well being that is promoted in our members through physical activity and social inclusion reaches far beyond the track. The club is at the centre of our members’ lives and provides an invaluable support network for disabled sports … participants, family and friends.
Matt Cooper, one of the development athletes “Currently we have no fit for purpose indoor training facility, so we cannot operate when the outside weather is unsuitable. Aside from the obvious missed training opportunities, the nucleus hub of the team getting together is lost. Developing our own training room will fix this.”
Initially the club was reluctant to share video of its improvised indoor training session, but we persuaded them to let you see the challenging, from every perspective, setting.
Every time this room is used, the training rollers – weighing up to 50kg a set – have to be moved from store and set up for individual chairs across up to 3 session each club night. Some athletes need to be carried in to the room in their racing chairs before being mounted on rollers. Evacuation in any emergency would be challenging to say the least!
With 27 active members ranging from 9 to 40 and from those starting out in the sport to the inspirational David Weir himself – let’s spell that out, 18 major championships, 6 Paralympic Golds and 8 London Marathon wins! – WAA is evolving our current and future Paralympians – this is a club that is going from strength to strength.
Jenny Archer, who oozes positivity and motivation, had this to say, “In 2018 I have seen 6 athletes who started their careers with WAA and have been coached by me and my team throughout, go on to bring home 8 medals from the Commonwealth Games, European Championships and CP World Games. 14 of my athletes have competed internationally this year.”
That is some accolade!
WAA’s Juniors’ section has 6 active members – young people who are inspired by the success of the Paralympians around them and who openly tell you, as do all of the athletes – that WAA irreplaceably filled a void in their lives. These young people previously had no outlet for sport and have found this, as well as a support network, here at Weir Archer.
With the new facility, the Academy will be able to actively grow, particularly focusing on Juniors, providing more training sessions and bringing more young people to sport and active life.
Another WAA coach, Jake – that will be Jenny’s grandson, an undergraduate in Strength and Conditioning Science at St Mary’s University, which also partners with the Academy – said, “Every week I see disabled athletes from the youngest and most challenged to the oldest and most successful pushing boundaries to deliver more. Every year we see those same athletes achieving personal bests. In any sport this is motivational. In disability sport it’s inspirational – life changing.”
From David’s 8th London Marathon win in April to the raft of international medals to our youngest and newest athletes competing in their first competitions, 2018 has been another amazing year of achievement.
None of that is possible without the money the club receives through donations and sponsorship. Every penny goes to developing the Academy and supporting its athletes. None of its coaches or volunteers receive any remuneration.
This project – a dedicated WAA indoor training facility – will take the club to a new level. When they are able to secure use of an indoor training area currently – take a look at the YouTube link if you haven’t already – the conditions and environment are just not suitable. Remember all of these athletes use wheelchairs for day to day mobility, so imagine the logistics of just getting them in and out!
Please help to make this happen by clicking on the link above and giving all 10 of your votes to Weir Archer … and then share and retweet to everyone you know!
Thanks for reading and supporting.
(For information on sponsorship packages please contact Brett Cooper – firstname.lastname@example.org – 07831 222012. If you are feeling Christmassy or generous, opportunities for one off donations to support this project can be made at: