2012 Paralympic Hopefuls inspire Horsham students (Sep 2011)

Students from nine Sussex primary school had the opportunity to learn from some of Great Britain’s most promising 2012 Paralympic hopefuls when they visited Tanbridge House School on Friday 23 September to take part in a special Paralympic Day, themed “Elite or Incomplete?”

Wheelchair FootballTanbridge organised the event to continue their celebrations of the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, after an event which was attended by Lord Sebastian Coe in May 2011. Paralympic Hopefuls, coaches and members of the Enable Me group ran sessions for the students throughout the day which included Wheelchair Football, Fencing, New Age Kurling, Boccia, Athletics and much more.

Sitting Volleyball with Emma WiggsSpecial guests on the day included (amongst others) Sophia Warner, currently ranked number one in Europe and number two in the World for the T35 100m and 200m, Emma Wiggs, Captain of the GB Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team, and Rob Matthews, who has set over 20 world records and will represent New Zealand in the 2012 Paralympic Games for Tandem Cycling.

Winning Team New ZealandStudents split into teams at the beginning of the day, each representing a Country. They were awarded points based on how well they demonstrated the Paralympic values during their sessions and members of the winning team (New Zealand) were each presented with a special goodie bag. Every student who took part in the day also received a smaller goodie bag.

As well as the Paralympic Coaching sessions which ran throughout the day, Tanbridge House School students also had the opportunity to get a taste of Paralympic sports with a range of exciting break time activities including Single Leg High Jump and Seated Shot Putt.

THS students perform in the Opening CeremonyMr Jules White, Headteacher at Tanbridge House School, said: “The Paralympic Day has been absolutely incredible. The atmosphere around the school has been wonderful and our students have fully embraced the day. All the visiting primary schools have had a fantastic time and have been a credit to their schools. We’re very grateful to all the coaches and athletes who gave up their precious time to come a long and make this a very special day.”

Students from Shelley Primary School also commented on their experiences of the day:

"[I liked] all of it because it was a brilliant experience and it was fun!"

"I liked the wheelchair football because it was a challenge and good fun"

"[I learned] that sports are harder for people with disabilities but they can still be brilliant at them"

‘[I learned] that just because you have a disability or lost an arm or a leg it doesn’t mean you can’t be an athlete"

Tanbridge House School and the visiting Primary schools have been fundraising around the event and are close to raising £3,000 which will be used to support some of the Paralympic athletes in their quests to get to the 2012 Games.

The event was sponsored by Tony Kneale Motor Engineer in Horsham.

For further information about the event please contact Sally Linsell at Tanbridge House School – slinsell@ths.uk.net

The schools that took part in the event were: Arunside Primary, Castlewood Primary, Queen Elizabeth II, Shelley Primary, Shoreham Beach Primary, Southwater Juniors, Southwater Infants, St Marys CofE Primary, Warnham CofE School