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Q&A: wheelAIR boss outlines bold plans for cooling wheelchair cushion

WheelAir

I understand you will be attending Naidex this year – are you offering any special deals to visitors? 

Yes, we will be attending our first Naidex as exhibitors and we are very excited! We will be on stand 9150 and welcome anyone who wants to know more about the wheelAIR to come down and have a chat. And yes, we will be offering a special offer! We are selling the wheelAIR at a Naidex discount, revealed only to people who come by our stand… not only this, if you buy a wheelAIR at the show you are entered into a competition to win an Echo Dot!

wheelAIR has moved from strength to strength in recent months. What’s next on the agenda?

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We are pushing forward as the warmer summer months approach in the Northern Hemisphere and look forward to getting our next batch of products out into the world. We want to make sure that everyone who needs a wheelAIR has the opportunity to try one, so will be looking to make partnerships with dealers and distributors internationally.

This week, we are going to attend the Inter Spinal Games in Stoke Mandeville in support of the Glasgow team and we can’t wait! Meeting spinal units and patients from all over the country is a fantastic opportunity for us to grow our network and reach the people who need wheelAIR most.

What’s behind your partnership with the Glasgow Interspinal Games team?

We were introduced to the Inter Spinal Games team by our brand ambassador, Michael Kerr. Michael attended the games after he sustained his spinal cord injury 18 years ago and from then has gone on to achieve amazing things, including attending the Paralympics twice! Run by the wheelchair sport charity, WheelPower, the games are a fantastic opportunity for national spinal units and patients to meet. They form an essential part of many patient’s rehabilitation.

It is often the first time they have left the hospital since their spinal cord injury and they have the opportunity to try out a range of different sports. We are supporting the team by providing each of them with wheelAIR backrests to use while they are there. We are delighted to be involved!

How is the wheelAIR designed to help the team?  

As a cooling backrest cushion, the wheelAIR is the perfect partner for any wheelchair sporting event. And it can have particular benefits for those in rehabilitation. A spinal patient’s temperature is often at its most erratic during recovery. A lack of ability to sweat below their injury point prevents normal regulation of temperature. Therefore, wheelAIR’s in-built cooling fans can offer relief to patients and help prevent any health complications that can arise. As you can imagine, this is extra beneficial when exercising. So we hope by using the wheelAIR the team will be able to concentrate on having fun rather than getting too hot!

Not only this, the carefully selected memory foam of the cushion offers extra support. This simple addition to their comfort now can be a huge factor in avoiding back problems due to bad posture in the years to come.

What is the wheelAIR PRO community and how does it aim to build your brand?

The wheelAIR PRO program is an exciting new addition to the business where we bring ambitious, inspiring wheelchair users together through our brand. It is a great opportunity for both us and the wheelchair community. In return for a significantly reduced wheelAIR and the chance to be the first to test our future products, the PROS will be a source of invaluable feedback for our brand. We hope that we will be able to grow the community into a hub where people can share their experiences and ideas.

This seems like quite a unique initiative from a supplier…

Yes, we like to think so! We are very consumer focused brand and wanted our influencer program to be one of the first campaigns we pushed out. We are a young and modern company who want to try new things, so offering something a bit different is important to us.

What else are you doing to help reach as many users as possible? I understand you are reaching out to sports teams…

As well as our wheelAIR PRO initiative, we are offering sports teams the opportunity to apply for slots where we come and give a private demonstration to their club. They will be offered reduced prices and exclusive team deals. As well as this, we are very active within the disability community social media and love to have a chat to anyone who is interested.

What role do you think wheelAIR could have to play in amateur and professional wheelchair sports?

We think wheelAIR could have a huge role to play in wheelchair sport. One of our biggest aims is to be on the back of every wheelchair-user’s chair by Tokyo 2020. However, wheelAIR isn’t just for athletes, but for every wheelchair user. We actually want to focus some of our efforts into appearing less sport focused – instead, as an inclusive brand for all wheelchair users. Every wheelchair user experiences overheating for different reasons be it as a side effect from medication, a neurological condition or warm climates.

Tags : glasgowGlasgow Interspinal Gameswheelairwheelair pro
Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

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