We have had the Olympics but the Tokyo Games are not over yet – Paralympics here we come!
Tokyo is hosting the the 2020 (yes we know it is a year late!) Paralympics from 24th August to 5th September.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will feature around 4,400 athletes who will compete in 539 medal events. There are at least 1,756 slots for female athletes, the most ever, which represents a 17 % increase in the number of women that took part in London 2012. This number is likely to increase further due to the allocation of 294 gender free slots.
As part of the International Paralympic Committee’s drive to increase opportunities for athletes with high support needs, the sport of boccia has been allocated 116 athlete slots, 8 more than Rio 2016. Boccia is a precision ball sport, similar to bowls. It is played at local, national and international levels by athletes with physical disabilities. If you have not heard of Boccia before it is something that you can try locally. Guernsey Mobility, Lets Go members play at St Martins parish hall and there is a Guernsey Boccia Facebook page Boccia Guernsey | Facebook.
Boccia is one of only two Paralympic sports, along with goalball, that have no counterpart in the Olympic program. The list of sports at the Paralympics is extensive:
Cycling (Track and Road)
The Sports Commission supports inclusion in sport and encourages sports clubs to be more inclusive and help improve access to a wider range of accessible sport in Guernsey. Grass roots inclusion in sport can be difficult for anyone with an impairment but many clubs now have coaches trained to enable people to over come barriers to participation.
Dr Casey Osborough is the Guernsey Sports Commission’s Inclusion Lead. She has been working hard to enable clubs to understand what inclusion means and what they need to do to reduce barriers to sport.
Great Channel 4 video promoting the Rio Paralympics in 2016 for Team GB below!
So, do enjoy the two weeks of amazing Paralympics, do support sports cubs in Guernsey to be inclusive, and do be inspired to be more active!