wheelAIR keeps wheelchair tennis champion cool during US and French Open
Gordon Reid, a professional wheelchair tennis athlete, has recently been using wheelAIR’s cooling backrest cushion to help him with his performance.
The 27-year-old has reduced mobility from transverse myelitis, a condition which causes inflammation of both sides of one section of the spinal cord.
However, this has not stopped him from being successful as he was won all the major wheelchair tennis competitions – Wimbledon, the French Open, the US Open and the Australian Open. He’s currently the world number one in doubles, with partner Alfie Hewett, and world number four for singles.
This September he used the wheelAIR cooling backrest cushion to keep him cool in his wheelchair whilst at the US Open and French Riviera Open.
Gordon said: “Even though I don’t have any problems with overheating because of my disability, when I’m somewhere hot I definitely get heat and moisture build up on my back, as all wheelchair users do. Which is uncomfortable. Having been aware of the wheelAIR for a while, and knowing how hot it was going to be in New York and the South of France, I thought it would be great to try it out when I went this September.
“It was over 30°C a lot of the time I was away, so it was very refreshing to have the air cooling on my back.. I used it to cool me down before and after playing, on my day chair. It benefitted me the most when I came off from a match…turning the cooling on directly afterwards was revitalising and pleasant.”
He added that wheelAIR made him feel more comfortable, which in turn helped his performance.
“It was really lightweight and blended in to my life subtly, which I was pleased about. I found it hassle free to use – just charging it up overnight so it was ready to cool me the next day.
“Everyone I met was very interested in knowing what new piece of tech I was using and learning more… I got a lot of, “ah that’s a great idea, why has no one tried to make something like this before?!”
“It’s fantastic to see something new and different coming to the market to help wheelchair users. I am really excited about the concept and seeing where wheelAIR go next. A more powerful cooling version for sports and a seat cushion version would be very interesting to try out.”
wheelAIR is a cooling backrest cushion designed with inbuilt fan technology to help cool the back and reduce a user’s core temperature by taking away excess heat and moisture.