“I have a hard time finding accessible rooms so I can have a barrier-free shower,” said powerhouse athlete Brian Hnatiw.
Brian travels Canada and the US to compete in sitting shotput, javelin and discus – his sporting outlet, post-injury. “I’m always left with regular rooms. I wanted a shower chair designed that I could easily set up wherever I found myself staying.” Brian came up with the idea of what he wanted, and Tetra made it come to life!
The project was overseen by volunteer Randy Seccafien, a mechanical engineering student at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, aided by three University of Alberta students. “There are many bath benches out there, but what makes this unique is the requirement to be light and fold down into a carry-on bag,” explained Randy. The lightweight, folding device allows him to sit across a regular bathtub to shower, so that Brian can use regular hotel rooms when attending wheelchair track and field events across North America, as the accessible rooms book out months in advance. “I use it – it works. We’re talking about modifications to make it lighter and have less moving parts, so it will be even better.”
Brian hopes his one-of-a-kind Tetra travel bath bench will take him through to the 2020 Paralympics! “Tetra has been really good to me – they can help a lot of other people with one-off projects custom made to someone’s personal disability.”