Eden community Olympics in wheelchairs
Published by Tracey Errington for Eden Housing Association Limited in Communities and also in Health
Marion Bruce from ECHO with Para Olympian Paula Johnston
were held in Eden. What made the events so challenging was the fact that all competitors took part in wheelchairs.
The aim of the events was to promote inclusive activities, disability sports, celebrate the Olympics and to promote ECHO (Eden Community Homes and Organisations). It brought together residents aged 2 – 80+ who enjoyed taking part in varied events like Olympic artwork, biscuit decorating, a children’s assault course and basketball. The events were organised by Eden Housing Association and the ECHO team and took place in the new Sports Hall in Kirkby Stephen and the Leisure Centre in Penrith.
The Wheelchair Basketball session was run by Peter Longworth Coach of Carlisle Panthers – the wheelchair basketball club whose members include Paula Johnston a GB Para Olympian. Paula attended the event at Kirkby Stephen and brought the Olympic torch she carried in the procession – her visit made a huge impact on all those taking part.
Marion Bruce, an ECHO member and a wheelchair user herself said “We’ve had a great couple of days, it was excellent to see the kids enjoying the sport, but especially nice for me being a wheelchair user myself, seeing everyone appreciating how difficult it can be in a chair”. Marion is now considering joining the Carlisle Panthers team!
Peter Longworth said “It was great to encourage able bodied people of all ages to have a go and appreciate the restrictions and opportunities wheelchair users face. At the end of the day the kids didn’t want to get out of the chairs, but the reality is that they can walk away.” Pete also urged attendees to watch the Paralympics, particularly the wheelchair basketball.
The event was part funded by “Community Games” and everyone received a ‘Community Games’ certificate, highlighting that the event was ‘inspired by London 2012.
ECHO is currently recruiting members/ volunteers so if anybody is interested in being part in Eden Housing Association and their community they can contact Jenny Arragon on 01768 861435 or Sarah Bowman on 01768 861417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes: Funding was received from http://www.communitygames.org.uk/ via the County Sports partnership Network towards the event