With the British success on court at the Rio Paralympics we are all enjoying watching the superhuman efforts of our Paralympic GB athletes winning medals. For Ben Crabbe from Enfield, North London, not only are the Paralympic are in his sights, after being spotted on the Tennis Foundation’s Talent ID programme Push2Podium, but so is making waves in the technology world.
For anyone a motorbike accident that leaves them paralysed at the age of 25 is life changing. But Ben has used his accident to pursue a new sport and become an entrepreneur in the process.
Ben was paralysed following a motorbike accident in February 2013. Sport has played a key role in Ben’s rehabilitation, playing wheelchair tennis and now creating an app to help other disabled people find events and sporting activities close to where they live.
And so Perfect Imperfections was born and after months of work the first version las launched in the App Store on the third anniversary of Ben’s accident 24th February 2013.
Perfect Imperfections enable people, whatever their disability to access a wide range of events and activities and even share your own events. It’s also a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
“My accident had such a profound effect on me but sport was my life saver and my road to recovery,” says Ben. “I had been introduced to wheelchair tennis just before I left hospital so I joined a club and played a few sessions a week. Playing tennis became an escape for me. I forgot about all the crap and I was happy again.”
After Ben’s mum arranged a wheelchair tennis open day which featured Grand Slam Champion Jordanne Whiley, Ben met other disabled people who also struggled to find activities near them. In 2015 Ben visited the French Open in Paris and watching the wheelchair tennis was the catalyst for him to create Perfect Imperfections.
Slowly but surely more and more people are downloading and making use of the app with scope to refine and develop the app further when finances allow. Ben’s wheelchair tennis career is also taking off with him being selected for the second stage of the Tennis Foundation’s Talent ID Programme Push2Podium which identifies talented players.
Ben has attended the three selection camps following the Talent ID festival and has private coaching twice a week as he aims to develop his game and rise through the rankings.
“I’m really looking forward to the future now and hope I can help people stay active, get into sports and enjoy their lives just like me,” says Ben. “The last 3 years have been life changing in so many ways. I am delighted with the job our tech team has done with Perfect Imperfections and hope it inspires and connects many people in similar situations to myself.”