Undergraduates from a number of design courses collaborated with staff and students from RNIB College Loughborough to co-design enabling and inclusive sports products that are accessible to students with different access requirements and abilities.
On March 29 the winning concepts were presented with awards; with first prize receiving a £950 bursary to build a working prototype of the design. Two runners-up each received a cash prize of £25.
The winner of the competition was Elliot Butler for ‘Tap Dash’, a game using brightly coloured LEDs where users race against the clock to hit as many ‘pods’ as they can. The product was designed to be adaptable for wheelchair users and those with visual impairments.
The two runners-up were Amy Lees with ‘Puk Puk’, a hockey-style activity using bells with buzzers for enhanced audio recognition, and Sonia Martinelli with ‘Four’, a game played on a roll-up mat fitted with pressure sensors.
The competition was judged by June Murray, Principal of RNIB College Loughborough, Ken Black, Senior Lecturer in Inclusive Sport at the University of Worcester, and Martin Grant, Remap (Rehabilitation, Engineering and Movement Advisory Panels) Leicestershire and Rutland.
Dr George Torrens, Senior Lecturer and Module Leader for Universal Design at the Loughborough Design School said: “The undergraduate student designs this year were of superb quality and the judges had a very hard time in deciding the winner.
“The Design School is very grateful for the continued support of the Andrew Simpson Sport Enabling Trust. We would also like to thank the staff and students of the RNIB College for their involvement and insight. I am sure the prototype Elliot will build over this summer will benefit and enhance the sports activities of their students.”