Lots of interest at Paralympic day

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People from across the district flocked to Ripon Leisure Centre earlier this month to celebrate the opening of the Paralympic Games.

The special event, which was hosted by Harrogate Borough Council’s Fit 4 Fun Team, featured demonstrations and taster sessions designed to bring the Games to life for people unfamiliar with some of the Paralympic sports.

Paralympics Leisure Centre. Action from the basket ball. (1209021AM1)

Paralympics Leisure Centre. Action from the basket ball. (1209021AM1)

The celebration opened with a truly inspirational talk from Anthony Cotterill, a wheelchair tennis player who has achieved top 20 world ranking and has also represented Great Britain four times in the last five years in the Invacare Word Team Cup, the wheelchair tennis flagship event.

Disabled people, carers and family members all enjoyed taster sessions in a range of Paralympic sports, including wheelchair basketball, boccia (a form of bowls), seated volleyball and cycling.

Speaking before the event, the council’s sports development manager, John McGivern, said it was aimed at inspiring disabled children, young people and adults to take part in sport.

He added: “We hope to inspire people to take up one of the sports that suits them best.”

NARG 1209021AM2 Paralympics Leisure Centre.  Basket ball action. (1209021AM)2

NARG 1209021AM2 Paralympics Leisure Centre. Basket ball action. (1209021AM)2

The event concluded with a competitive match played by Leeds Spiders, one of the wheelchair basketball teams closest to Ripon.

Natalie Smith, senior activity ranger, said: “This has been a fantastic event.

“We hope that it has inspired people who perhaps have never thought about taking up sport to get involved and get active.”

Such was the success of the event that the interest it sparked led to pressure from attendees and others for more disability events and sports clubs to be set up in the district.

In response, the Fit 4 Fun team will be launching a new disability sports club at Ripon Leisure Centre, starting Sunday, October 7, at 2-4pm.

l For more information, contact the Fit 4 Fun Team on 07525 988160 or email natalie.smith@harrogate.gov.uk