The Cambridge-based company responsible for building David Weir’s wheelchair helped him to achieve yet another major title after he sped to victory at yesterday’s London Marathon in an exhilarating sprint finish on one of its custom-built chairs.
Draft Wheelchairs, which specialises in both its own and suppliers’ high-end, custom-built mobility equipment, supplied Weir with a chair which saw the six-time Paralympic gold medalist win his eight London Marathon in one hour 31 minutes 15 seconds.
The company has now built chairs for athletes who have brought back in excess of 30 medals over five Paralympics.
Founded in 1997, it has just five employees and has built bespoke wheelchairs for some of the best athletes in the world.
Each product is built by director Dan Chambers, who has a background in custom cycle frame manufacture, and whose products have helped to produce numerous world records, world championship and Paralympic medals.
Chambers has been awarded the Sir Frank Whittle medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering for his personal and sustained work in developing racing wheelchairs.
Draft Wheelchair says that it does not have strict specification forms, tick boxes or models and only manufactures bespoke.
“This does increase cost and delivery times, but our service is small scale and personal rather than factory-built standardisation; more couture than off-the-peg”, it says.
As well as selling its own products, Draft distributes active equipment from the likes of Top End, Kuschall, Quickie/Sopur, Ti Lite, Wolturnus and Melrose.
On winning his latest London Marathon, Weir, who sped through the finishing tape before it was dropped, told the BBC that he did not celebrate his seventh London victory.
“Having that time away and thinking about what I want to do, it helped me fall back in love with the sport again. Coming back this year has been good and I feel strong.
“I feel refreshed and motivated to do the rest of the marathons now. My training over the winter is a lot better and facilities indoors are all set up, which has helped me keep my weight down as well.”