Underwater Wheelchair Artist Returns To Portland
9:09am 22nd July 2014
An underwater wheelchair artist returns to Portland today to thank local volunteers for their support.
Sue Austin is set to visit the pool at Osprey Leisure Centre which was used to create, test and develop the World's first underwater wheelchair, leading up to the 2012 Olympics.
Osprey Leisure Centre Manager Nigel Williams watched the project develop from the start.
''It's amazing to look back and remember the whole journey as the Project evolved - from throwing a standard NHS wheelchair in the pool, to the culmination of the unique performances of the Underwater Wheelchair just before the Paralympics.''
Sue performs underwater acrobatic art using the wheelchair and aims to transform preconceptions of disability.
She explained to Wessex FM where the idea came from;
''When I first started using a wheelchair it gave me a sense of freedom but people’s attitudes towards me changed. I started to create artwork to express my freedom.
''I realised that scuba gear extends your range of activity just like a wheelchair does but that the associations attached to scuba gear are ones of excitement and adventure so then I put the two together.''
The Mayor of Portland, Rob Hughes also supported the project and will join Sue to thank volunteers in Portland and Weymouth who made it all possible.