A Lower Hunter primary school has held a scaled-down Paralympics-inspired sport day to teach its students about the strength and determination of people with disabilities.
Morpeth Public's ‘Mini-Paralympics’ paid homage to the real-deal with its own take on wheelchair basketball, boccia and blind equestrian.
Students also listened to a lecture from Cerebral Palsy NSW on the subject.
Teacher’s Aid and organiser Vicky McEnroe said the event sprang from a desire to promote inclusion, respect and sporting opportunities the students with disabilities.
“It’s about having an awareness about disabilities,” she said
“You can be amazed by what people can do.”
Among the school’s students with disabilities is year-six student Tristan Grunsell, who has Aspergers and reduced vision.
Despite the challenges the year six student has faced in his short life, Tristan has competed in the Special Olympics’ swimming, soccer and athletics codes in Sydney.
He has even delivered motivational speeches to other young people on the value of sport in his life.
“I like to play with my mates, tackle and touch footy, soccer,” he said. “Sport is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.”
Tristan said he was used to competing, playing, living in the world of people without disabilities. So the school’s Paralympics, which asked his able-bodied classmates step into the world of those with disabilities, were an opportunity to show how much determination it takes.
“Sometimes kids with special needs can’t do what the other kids can do.
“But [sport] can still be important.”
“For [students without disabilities] this is the closest thing to wheelchairs they’ll ever know.”
Sport is one of the best things that's happened to me. Sometimes kids with special needs can’t do what the other kids can do. But [sport] can still be important.