As Namine gets faster in her sport chair, she’s finding that it’s harder to turn. This last practice, her team did a number of drills which focused on sharp turns. They were, suffice it to say, challenging.
Of course, they still did purely fun things. Namine’s favorite remains playing Sharks & Minnows, where she can just let loose and tear across the gym.
Near the end of the practice, the team did some practice scrimmages. It was in the middle of one of these that one of Namine’s teammates flipped his chair over. This isn’t a common occurrence, but it does happen. I only mention it here to serve as a contrast between a normal sport wheelchair and Namine’s custom chair.
After the teammate flipped his chair over — which has happened before and will again, I’m sure — he was able to push himself back up. Even in a normal sport chair, Namine cannot do that. And even if she could, she would have suffered many broken bones in the fall. It was for these reasons that when Namine’s custom chair was being built, the absolute, must-have requests we put in were that it protect her legs and be untippable. (That’s a word now.)
The result of the Marquette senior class’s work, of course, is the chair Namine has. It is made almost entirely out of titanium. The exception to that is the detachable part in front that serves as the protective cage for Namine’s legs, and it is made of steel.
As for being untippable — or at the very least, tip-resistant — Namine’s chair has several attributes which differentiate it from the typical sport chair. Its length, to ensure Namine’s legs’ safety, would have made it more tippable, not less. This was countered by making the balancing wheels in the front and back wider. (In a typical chair, the front and back wheels are closer together.) The large wheels are cambered (or slanted), and the front of the frame is much wider.