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Testimonial Frank Hooning - Vicair Active O2

Frank Hooning softbal handbal Vicair Adjuster O2

My name is Frank Hooning and at the age of 33, now 10 years ago, I suffered a rare autoimmune attack called ADEM (Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis). This resulted in complete paralysis from my waist down to my toes, and I had to learn to walk again. After my rehabilitation, it became apparent that I had sustained permanent damage to the nerves in my brain, brainstem and spine, leading to 24 hours a day nerve pain in my legs. That’s why I use a sports wheelchair for longer distances and during playing sports.

"With help of Vicair, I played as a free player with an American team in the Wheelchair Softball World Series in America."

Baseball and softball have been my kind of sports since childhood, and I wanted to continue playing these sports. Unfortunately, they were not available as wheelchair sports in the Netherlands yet.
During my rehabilitation I discovered wheelchair handball, which also did not exist in the Netherlands at the time. This led to the idea of promoting and establishing this sport in the Netherlands. A few years later, after becoming a two-time European champion in wheelchair handball, the sport continues to grow.

My desire to play wheelchair softball has always remained. I initiated this sport in the Netherlands, and currently, we have one team in Haarlem (a city in the Netherlands). We provide demonstrations and clinics, but playing matches is unfortunately not possible yet. In 2023, I was approached by Americans to participate in the Wheelchair Softball World Series in America. With help of Vicair, I played as a free participant (a player without a team) with an American team (Columbus Pioneers) (35 out of 40 innings). During the award ceremonies, I was awarded the Most Sportsmanlike Player! Whether this was due to my sportsmanship or because they felt like I deserved it, I don’t know 😊, but it made me feel good. Even though I now have a team in America if I want to return to the World Series, my dream is to participate with a Dutch team. We have reached the point now where we want to organise practice matches against foreign teams.

Frank Hooning softbal handbal Vicair Adjuster O2

"While exercising, both wheelchair handball and wheelchair softball, I use the wheelchair cushion Vicair Adjuster O2."

While playing sports, both wheelchair handball and wheelchair softball, I use a wheelchair cushion from Vicair (Vicair Adjuster O2). The first cushion I tried while exercising was immediately comfortable. Initially, it took some time getting used to and needed to be “settled in”, but because it is slightly angled towards the back and I can play with the filling grade, I can adjust it for the sports I’m playing. This allows me to throw tighter balls (both softball and handball) and sit more firmly and stable while hitting. With a different cushion (flat), you slide in all directions, even with strapping on. During hitting, it’s pleasant to be securely seated without sliding over the cushion. Also, picking up a ball from the ground is easier with a cushion that follows your movement. In summary, the Vicair wheelchair cushion is very suitable for me. Stable during hitting but flexible enough during movements towards the ground (for picking up the ball). Additionally, it’s convenient that the cushion is adjustable by moving the SmartCells (air cells) within the cushion.

– Frank Hooning

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