The team at the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) are about to grant a young girl who has Cerebral Palsy her very own Christmas ice skating wish.
Eight year-old Enna Thea Kul-Want from London has Athetoid Cerebral Palsy so has not been able to skate because she can’t wear conventional skates.
But this Christmas, thanks to the team at the Swansea-based Cerebra Innovation Centre, Enna Thea will be able to ice skate with her family and friends for the very first time.
The product was designed after Enna Thea’s mum, Catherine, contacted the CIC team after her daughter had been invited to an ice skating party at the Broadgate Ice Rink in London’s Exchange Square.
Catherine didn’t want her daughter to miss out on the celebration so after discussing ideas with Dr Ross Head from the University’s Cerebra Innovation Centre, the team set about designing and creating an original product styled on Santa’s sleigh that would allow Catherine to skate behind and push Enna Thea along on the inside.
The sturdy stylish design has been manufactured from birch ply with a metallic red weather proof lacquer coating. It is fitted with polypropylene skating blades which have been machined with the same radius on the blade as regular skates allowing the sleigh to skate in a straight line, but also making it steerable. The product is finished with a beautiful jewel encrusted, royal blue velvet, fit for a young princess that will allow Enna Thea to direct her mum and “skate” wherever she wants.
Dr Ross Head of the Cerebra Innovation Centre, based at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David said: “We are so lucky to be able to do this as a job. I hope that Enna Thea really enjoys her skating party and many more hours of skating afterwards. Our job is to design and make beautiful products to help kids with neurological conditions, which brings an amazing sense of satisfaction for us. Our design skills are challenged but put to good use in making products that make children’s and family’s lives easier, and give them the same opportunities as other kids.”
Catherine Yass had already been in contact with Dr Ross Head regarding a different product and knew that the team’s designs are always beautifully designed as well as being extremely functional.
“I had written to Ross to thank him for his work on a different product and as a ‘by the way’ comment, asked him whether he had any solutions to ice skating. He came straight back saying that he’d love to help us and has designed us the most amazing present. We are over the moon – the sled is absolutely beautiful. Enna Thea finds it all incredibly exciting,” says Catherine.
Catherine and Enna Thea tested out the sleigh on Sunday December 13th at Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, London. EC2A 2BQ.
To find out more information about the Cerebra Innovation Centre, or to approach the team with an idea for new equipment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01792 483688.
As you can see from the smile on her face, Enna Thea loved the sleigh!