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Norwich youngsters try their hand at Paralympic sports

PUBLISHED: 17:39 15 March 2012

Sewell Park College student James Hunter holds the 1948 Olympic torch during the wheelchair basketball session during the school's Paralympic Games.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Sewell Park College student James Hunter holds the 1948 Olympic torch during the wheelchair basketball session during the school's Paralympic Games. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant

The values of the Paralympic Games were brought to life when school pupils pitted themselves against their classmates in a range of different sports.

Sewell Park College today (Thursday) held the first of two Paralympic Days.

The event, which continues tomorrow, saw 450 youngsters at the St Clements Hill school take part in six Paralympic sports: sitting volleyball, goalball, wheelchair basketball, athletics, visually impaired football and boccia.

Pupils who then best demonstrated the Paralympic values of inspiration, determination, courage and equality were rewarded with gold, silver and bronze medals.

Sam MacGibbon, school sports coodinator, said: “We have had a fantastic and inspirational day and they have really enjoyed it.

“The big plus was that they were doing new sports. I think some of them were a bit unsure at first but then when they finished, they were buzzing and were really enthusiastic.”

As part of the event, a mini opening ceremony was held with the London 1948 Olympic torch and the pupils were shown footage from the 1948 opening ceremony.

They were also joined by Norfolk’s own Paralympian Danny Nobbs and official Olympic author Robert Rigby.

“The pupils really enjoyed all the sports. The footballers enjoyed the visually impaired football and goalball proved popular. It was interesting with boccia that some of the pupils who do not normally excel at games were the ones winning the medals,” said Mr MacGibbon.

“They all enjoyed the sessions with Robert too.”

The Paralympic days will continue tomorrow with sessions for youngsters from surrounding primary schools. About 120 children are expected to take part in tomorrow’s event which will close with a mini closing ceremony.

As previously reported in the Evening News, the event was funded by money won through the Plan your 2012 scheme.

Sewell Park College, which is a member of the Get Set network, was one of just 125 schools from across England and one of four in Norfolk to win the £7,300 grant.

The initiative, which is funded by the Department of Education and delivered by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog), gives schools the chance to share their passion for the Games and to inspire and engage other schools, young people and building partnerships across their community.

In the run up to today’s and yesterday’s events, Sewell Park’s feeder schools hosted their own Olympic torch relay.

The 1948 flame was carried between George White Junior and Lionwood Junior on Tuesday and was then at Sprowston Junior and Catton Grove on Wednesday before it arrived at Sewell Park.

The Evening News is publishing a series of supplements celebrating our Olympic year. The next edition of London Calling is out on March 27.

Do you have an Olympics story? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@ archant.co.uk.

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