Paralympian Mel Nicholls and Gel Ovations Managing Director James Payne.

Gel Ovations Europe, the UK-based manufacturer of pressure care products for mobility equipment, has diversified into parasports and is working with a number of leading Paralympians.

The company’s medical-grade silicone gel pads are used in healthcare for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers for users of wheelchairs, rise recliner chairs and adaptive shower room equipment.

James Payne, Managing Director of the Bristol-based specialist, announced the launch of the new division under the name Gel Ovations Sports.

The new brand will develop its ‘Dimensional Gel’-based products specifically for adaptive sports equipment, including all makes of para-cycles and sports chairs used in wheelchair basketball and rugby.

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Speaking of the move, James said: “We’ve been working with Paralympians for a number of years with made-to-measure solutions to protect them from the debilitating pressure sores which arise during training and competition.

“Having proven their suitability for use in the most demanding of conditions in competitive sports, we are now making our professional-grade gel products available to pro and amateur sports people alike.

“Our ultimate goal is to decrease the incidence of pressure injuries throughout the world of para-sports.”

Athletes featured on the Gel Ovations Sports web presence include Team GB Paralympic Gold Medalist Karen Darke, European RaceRunning Champion, and World Cup Silver medallist trike racer Hannah Dines and GB Paralympian and endurance athlete Mel Nicholls.

Hannah Dines is quoted, commenting: “The soft medical silicone in-saddle cover compresses, holds me, and absorbs impact as I run, which decreases the tissue damage I get from clocking up many hours in the saddle. My saddle cover is as vital for me as my helmet.”

In 2019, Mel Nicholls achieved the Land’s End to John O’Groats Handcycle World Record in six days, 22 hours and 17 minutes. She is currently working with Gel Ovations to equip her handcycle for her next challenge.

Mel said: “As with any ultra undertaking set-up is key, saddle sores or pressure points however you ride, long hours and big miles on the bike means we all share similar issues just in different ways.

“I’m thrilled to work with and have such innovative support from James and his expert team, and look forward to testing and developing ahead of this year’s project.”

Moulded into a cellular honeycomb pattern, for airflow and exact contouring to the user’s body, the low-profile Gel Ovations Sports Dimensional Gel Pads simulate the cushioning effect of human fat.

The gel pads’ cooling, anti-friction and sweat minimising properties also assist by helping to maintain their comfort and temperature during high-intensity exertions.

The firm previously teamed up with Bristol start-up easyTravelseat to help make aeroplane journeys more comfortable for users of the seating and sling solution.

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