Paralympics tips put pupils in chair

Kat Easson shows pupils some of the finer points of the game
Kat Easson shows pupils some of the finer points of the game

YOUNGSTERS got a taste of a Paralympic sport as two wheelchair basketball players spent the day in school.

Children at Barnard Grove Primary School, in Hartlepool, took part in projects and activities linked to the Olympics over the course of the year.

And yesterday they enjoyed first-hand experience of what it is like to play a Paralympic event thanks to a visit from Kathryn Easson and Adam Parry, of the Newcastle Eagles wheelchair basketball team.

The pair demonstrated exactly how wheelchair basketball works to all of the children at the school, before the older pupils got chance to practice the skills themselves.

After learning skills sat in a wheelchair, the pupils then took part in a game against each other.

Naomi Stangroom, Year 2 teacher at the school, said the children “absolutely loved” the chance to try the game.

Mrs Stangroom added: “Very often the focus is on the Olympics when the Paralympics is just as important.

“This gave the children the chance to learn all about the Paralympic values and to actually get the chance to play the game themselves was brilliant.

“Our children are very respectful at this school, but when they get the chance to put themselves in other people’s shoes like this it makes them realise the challenges which some people face.”

After a morning of action-packed fun, the Paralympic theme carried on into the afternoon when former wheelchair basketball player and wheelchair fencer Lee Fawcett visited the school to chat to the youngsters.

Lee has won medals on the global stage in both sports and competed at the Sydney Paralympic Games in 2000 and Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008.

Yesterday’s event was the latest in a string of projects and activities the youngsters at Barnard Grove Primary School have enjoyed.

Earlier this month the school organised their own Olympic torch relay and carried a flame, designed by pupils at St Hild’s C of E Primary School, in the town, along King Oswy Drive.

And today the youngsters were joining pupils from schools across the North Hartlepool cluster in enjoying their own Games at St Hild’s.

Mrs Stangroom said: “The children have been very keen to get involved with our Olympic and Paralympic-themed events this year.”