Namine is getting faster and stronger in her sport wheelchair.

It’s been some time since the Marquette bio-engineering class gave Namine her custom-built sport wheelchair, but in many ways she’s still getting used to it. Its large size in comparison with Namine makes performing actions in it more difficult than in a “normal” sport chair (if there is such a thing), but one by one Namine is knocking them down.

Speed

The custom chair is made of titanium, not steel, so structurally it is lighter. Due to the larger frame, however, it is heavier than it would be otherwise and is harder to maneuver.

As you can see from the following video, though, Namine was able to build up quite a lot of speed. I was nearly running by the time we got to the other end of the gym. (Sorry about the shaky cam.)

Namine pulling a teammate in her wheelchair.

Dribbling

When Namine was given the custom chair, she was just getting used to dribbling in the loaner that she’d been given by her coach. The replacement chair, which is hers to keep, is by necessity larger both in length and width; it is meant to last her a long, long time, after all. (Did I mention it’s titanium? It’s probably one of the most durable pieces of equipment she’ll ever own.)

As a result of all this, Namine had to re-learn (to an extent) how to dribble, since she has to account for the different camber of the wheels. Up until recently, this was purely a physical limitation: her arms were simply not long enough. Well, that is no longer true.

Namine dribbling the ball.

Picking up the ball

Another one of those pesky physics problems was picking up the ball. Namine could reach the floor from the loaner, but she couldn’t from her new custom chair. That’s no longer true, either!

Namine picking up the ball from the floor.