Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Disabled clubs see positive reaction to Paralympic Games
DISABLED sports clubs across our region expect a boost in the number of people getting involved, thanks to the Paralympic Games.
Thousands were due to pack into the Olympic Stadium last night (August 29) for the opening ceremony and a number of our athletes will be involved over the next two weeks testing themselves against the world’s elite disability athletes.
Somerset Wheelchair Sports Club, based at Somerset College, provide people with disabilities a chance to get involved with sport and coach Roger Sleap said he hopes the Games will spark a bit more interest in disabled sport.
He added: “It is great to see people highlighting disabled sport and I am always confident that people from the area will come along and get involved.”
The official motto of the Paralympic Games is ‘Spirit in Motion’ but Mr Sleap believes the message is much more down-to-earth.
He said: “I work with able-bodied and disabled youngsters and it is really important to introduce this so the able-bodied kids are not afraid of them and it teaches them not to walk on the other side of the road.
"It also gives disabled youngsters confidence to mix with others. I think people will be highly surprised how the athletes do things and amazed by the actions they perform.”
Clive Rymer, of Taunton-based charity Compass Disability Services, said they have noticed positive feedback ahead of the Games.
He added: “These athletes are incredible and people will see it is by no means a freak show – it is a great achievement for them to be there and it is great to have athletes from our area representing.
"It gives a boost to all disabled people and shows that, even if you aren’t a Paralympian, you can give it a go.”
Jon Gilling, secretary of Somerset Road Cycling Triathlon Club, added: “We hope the Games will encourage more people to get involved and to realise how exciting and physically challenging the events are to these competitors.”
- Email photos of you watching the Paralympics to firstname.lastname@example.org