With the countdown to the London 2012 now officially underway, pupils from across Berwickshire were getting in the spirit of the Games when they attended a Paralympics festival last week.
Organised by Borders Sport and Leisure Trust (BSLT) Active Schools coordinators Magnus Moncreiff and Marianne O’Brien, the festival was the first Paralympic event of the school year. Pupils gathered at the Berwickshire High School last Wednesday (December 7) for the festival, which has been re-branded this year to tie in with the upcoming London 2012 Paralympics and promote the excitement of the iminent Games.
The festival gave children from local schools the chance to try out a range of activities and develop their skills.
Children from Berwickshire High School, Chirnside Support Centre and Greenlaw Primary School attended the festival, making it a great success.
Coaches from the BSLT’s Sports Development team organised football stations to develop and challenge the children’s skills and achieve success through scoring goals and kicking adapted footballs onto a bulls-eye target.
Following on from the football, children had the chance to try out boccia and new age kurling. These sports have been developed to suit the different abilities of children and adults through the use of ramps and pushers to allow success to be achieved.
Boccia is a Paralympic Sport and has similarities to the rules of bowls. It is a highly competitive and tactical game and very enjoyable as could be seen at the festival. The sport is developing not just here in the Scottish Borders but nationwide, and has been promoted round the schools in Berwickshire.
New age kurling is an indoor version of curling which again has been adapted to suit different abilities. Like boccia new age kurling is very tactical and enjoyable.
At the end of the festival all children were presented with certificates from Berwickshire High School’s Young Ambassadors Nicola Wealleans and Josh Herbert.
Magnus Moncrieff said: “A huge thank you must go to all the staff from the schools who attended to support those participating, Berwickshire High School PE staff for providing the use of the games hall for the duration of the festival, Berwickshire High School senior pupils Hannah Hay and Shonagh Duncan, Berwickshire High School’s Young Ambassadors Nicola Wealleans and Josh Herbert, SFA coaches Scott Nightingale and Ross Patterson and a final thank you to all the children that took part making the festival a huge success.”
The next festival will be in March next year, with the final Borders festival in June. Information on these festivals will be issued to schools in due course.