THE Paralympics came to students of Spring Hill and Spring Terrace schools yesterday as they took part in specially designed events to focus on Cerebral Palsy Day.
Wheelchair basketball, and a range of other sporting activities where students were limited in the use of their limbs, helped to convey to the students the message of living with a disability.
Representatives from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Orange helped make the day possible.
Prue McCarthy, who works for the organisation and was born with cerebral palsy, said it was encouraging to work in schools with children now more aware that a disability need not be a barrier to success in life.
“We only have to look at the Paralympics now and see the athletes are breaking records set by able-bodied people,” she said.
Having a try at wheelchair basketball brought back memories for student Aaron Rodgers, 10, who has spent time in a wheelchair but is now able to run and play with other students.
After being diagnosed with a hip disease he found life in a wheelchair very different to his classmates.
“I had these rods in my legs and I couldn’t get through doorways - it was so hard,” he said.
“When things got a bit better I had to learn to try and walk all over again ... I was very wobbly.”
The experience Aaron says has given him a real appreciation of the efforts of wheelchair athletes in the Paralympics
“I have been watching it as much as I can - some of them are very good,” he said.
Spring Hill Public School principal Anne Marie McAnulty said the visit from people with a disability yesterday and the specially prepared activities followed on from the children watching the Paralympics.
“We have designed the games to be played either one-handed, sitting down or blindfolded and being guided by someone else,” she said.
“This really helps the children develop an understanding of what it is like to live with a disability, but it is also showing them there are no barriers in life to becoming a hero and it opens their minds.”