During Göteborgsvarvet last year a pilot project was simultaneously carried out where wheelchair users were invited to participate in the race to help with feedback and suggestions for improvements. The aspiration of the pilot test was a permanent class next year.
One person who went through the pilot test was Carl Fritzell from Gothenburg.
- When I was told that a pilot test would be carried out for the Göteborgsvarvet, I immediately decided to participate. When I made the decision to stop my elite effort in wheelchair basketball after many years, I experienced difficulties in maintaining a training routine and finding new goals. I was therefore extremely grateful for the pilot test, which really helped me find my motivation again.
Before the pilot test, the obstacles/difficulties along the course were identified which were the basis for the previous conditions that prohibited participation in a wheelchair. The course was then improved to be tested during the race.
-The new organization was correctly criticized by the public, our conditions for wheelchair participation were outdated. We thought so as well, so therefore we implemented a rigorous test with wheelchair participants, which turned out very well, says Erik Bergkvist, event manager of the Göteborgsvarvet.
Almost all participants had a very positive experience after the race and previous problem areas along the course were no longer perceived by the test participants.
- I didn't have very high expectations before the race, after all, it was not only new for participants in wheelchairs, but for everyone along the course. After the race, I have reflected on how well it actually went. Above all, I am impressed by the running participants who did not once show irritation when we came at full speed and wanted to overtake in certain narrow passages. On the contrary, so many participants pushed and cheered along the way. The evaluation after the race was also well designed, it is noticeable that there is a commitment to improve the race so that more people can participate. It is of course gratifying and I am grateful to be able to participate and contribute to such an improvement, says Fritzell.
With a successful outcome of the pilot test, the possibility of participation in a wheelchair becomes permanent. Registration for wheelchair participation is now open to the public.
-Finally! I have already set new goals for my own performance and look forward to the Göteborgsvarvet in 2023, says Fritzell, who welcomes the update in the race's conditions.
- Together with the participants, we have found a way of how we will implement this in the best way. Participation for wheelchair users is one of many areas of development that are constantly changing and improving. We want to continue developing the race in close dialogue with all our participants. Says Erik Bergkvist.
Following applies for participation in a wheelchair
Same age requirements as for all other participants
One accompanying person is optional and free of charge
No competition class
No participation in a competitive wheelchair
Start group 11 - or better by qualifying results
Normal seeding system apply
Participation also permitted in seeding races of Göteborgsvarvet