Back in the winter of 2018, we took to the city streets of Birmingham to shoot the photography for a number of our new Q-series powered wheelchairs, the Quickie Q100R and the Q200R. The Q100R entry-level powered wheelchair provides superb indoor accessibility, thanks to its ultra-slim, 52cm base, as well as good outdoor performance, whilst the Q200R is a meatier and more powerful powerchair. The Q200R provides greater stability to prevent tipping and is ideal for the taller and larger user (the wheelchair has a maximum user weight of 136kg). It also has larger castor wheels, perfect for tackling outdoor terrain, including uneven and hilly ground, as well as tackling hills of up to 8 degrees. The Q200R is also pretty nimble indoors. With this in mind we thought a day in the city was the perfect place to put these new electric wheelchairs through their paces.
Wheelchair models with a Quickie attitude
As well as the right location for the photoshoot we also needed the right people. Of course, they needed to be wheelchair users, but they also needed to embody Quickie’s ‘live without limits’ philosophy, which is where Bonio (or Przemyslaw Bonio to use his full name) comes in.
Wheelchair-friendly places to visit in Manchester
Originally from Poland, Bonio is a professional wheelchair Basketball player and model (he also provides office support for a car sales company) who now lives in Manchester, which he describes as a very wheelchair accessible city, with lots of great places to visit, including the Museum of Science and Industry, the Football Museum and parks, such as Heaton Park and Chorlton Water Park.
Twenty-eight year old Bonio also finds his Manchester base the perfect location for visiting places such as the Peak District where he can regularly be found taking in views of the lakes and mountains.
Visiting Poland with a wheelchair
Bonio, who has Spinal Cord Injury Paraplegia, represents the Polish National Wheelchair Basketball team and is very proud of his Polish heritage, offering these recommendations on places to visit in his homeland of Poland. He says: “In Poland we have a lot of beautiful places. We have sea, mountains, lakes and beautiful cities with a strong history. If you like mountains go to the south, if you prefer lakes go to the north east, or if you enjoy spending time by the sea head to the north.”
“The weather is also good in Poland. Sunny in summer and cold and snowy in winter.”
“In terms of accessibility the capital, Warsaw, looks very accessible and I think most of the main cities are, such as Gdansk on the Baltic sea, Crakow and Poznan are. If you do get the opportunity to visit Warsaw head to Bulwary Wislane, this is a very nice place next to the River Wisla with lots of places for food and beer and parties.”
Putting the Quickie Q200R to the test
The Q200R photoshoot was Bonio’s first trip to Birmingham and he said he liked the city and thought there were many parallels with Manchester. Bonio also enjoyed using the Quickie Q200R during the photoshoot and says he found it easy to operate and enabled him to access all environments, but most of all he enjoyed the speed of the Quickie Q200R! Something we can confirm as he happily slalomed his way through bollards on his way to the Custard Factory section of the photoshoot. Some neat driving for someone who is a full time manual wheelchair user!
When Bonio isn’t modelling Quickie powerchairs against a freezing cold Birmingham backdrop, he can be found cooking, traveling and catching up with friends. A typical day involves good coffee, two training sessions, cooking, rest and meeting with friends. He says: “My life sounds boring, but that’s a good day for a sportsman.”
His advice for anyone looking to get into modelling is to send photographs, ideally professional ones, to a modelling agency and to show your passion for the role. Bonio is fiercely motivated by self-development and is always practicing his skills and finding new challenges in basketball. He says there is always something he can do better and agrees that Quickie’s own ethos of ‘live without limits’ is a good motivation for everyone.
Bonio is represented by Zebedee Management.
Find out more about the Quickie Q200R.