|Returning to the scene of the triumphant Team GB!|
Can you believe that two years ago tomorrow (9th September), the London 2012 Paralympic Games came to an end? Neither can I. Time truly does fly by. The British Paralympic Association have been keen to maintain the legacy ever since the closing ceremony so with the support of Spirit, have set out plans to have a National Paralympic Day every year. This was the second annual #NPD and I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t aware of the event until I was invited to attend as a VIP. I’m guessing you didn’t know about this either until today.
As you can probably work out, the day was a celebration of disability sport and I had a brilliant time. A swimming competition, which saw Team GB eventually beat Team Europe, gave me an opportunity to visit the impressive Aquatics Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (I only got to see the Copperbox Arena in 2012). I then mingled in the VIP area with the Royal Patron of the British Paralympic Association A.K.A. HRH The Prince Edward. I am not a royalist and know that he is just a man but it was still extremely surreal.
The day was not just about spectating and hobnobbing with royalty. There were also various Paralympic sports available to try including Wheelchair Rugby, Cycling and many more. Unfortunately, I missed the professional’s playing what turned out to be a tense Boccia match in the Copperbox as I decided to have a game or two outside (my throws were a bit rusty as I haven’t played in ages). I did get to watch the Goalball where the Team GB girls came from 5-2 down to win 7-5. There was also another swimming session and basketball match but I sadly had to leave.
I would definitely encourage all my readers to go to National Paralympic Day next year, disabled or not. That’s the great thing. Everyone can enjoy watching Paralympic sports and be inspired. Obviously, able bodied people cannot compete in disabled sport but you might want to try it and will soon realise that playing basketball in a wheelchair for example is not as easy as the athletes make it look. I am aware that not all of my readers are from London so I’m pleased to say there were similar events in Liverpool and Birmingham.
If you don’t want to pay for tickets or have no real interest in watching sports (I know that young children might get bored), the other highlight of the day is the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival. This eclectic mix of deaf and disabled arts will keep the whole family entertained. There’s everything from live music to street theatre to dance. What more could you want for free?
Channel 4, who provided brilliant coverage of the actual Paralympic Games back in 2012, put together a highlights package to showcase the day. It was shown at 8.30 yesterday morning so was obviously too early for me. Luckily though, you can watch it on 4OD by clicking on this link: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/national-paralympics-day/4od#3752282 (look out for my mother and I at 00:31).
Bye for now!
|I'm very important don't you know?|
|Team GB done well in the pool.|
|Had to turn phone off during the Goalball match.|