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Rugby Wheelchair Concept

As part of the project, we worked with project partners Real Steel Wheelchairs to help them develop a new product concept. 

Design Week Article 

Research carried out in South Africa, identified a distinct lack of resources for children’s disability sports, especially wheelchair rugby. One of the main barriers to uptake is the cost of the specific chairs. It was also identified that current designs look and sound intimidating to young children who wish to give wheelchair rugby a go.

The team designed a new wheelchair with a softer, more inviting appearance than traditional chairs.

The frame can accommodate a range of sizes from 8-11years old with built-in adjustments.

Dr Whitehead led a team of two designers, Rebecca Leatherland and Keaton Hargun.


“As a disabled person being part of a

team sport creates real comradery

and friendship between people"Jared Mcintyre








We have made sure the design is repairable, by making all the components modular. We know that these chairs will have a lot of use and abuse, so parts can be quickly swapped out as needed.

The project is hoping to secure more funding in the future to progress the designs and make them a reality for disabled

children in South Africa.


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