Winchester continues to celebrate the Paralympics

Press Release: 12/10/2015

Winchester Celebrates Paralympics

Children and adults came together to celebrate the anniversary of the Paralympic Games three years on from London 2012 with 75 people taking part in a two-day event.

Supported by Winchester Go LD, Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre, Cycles4all, Places for People Leisure and Winchester City Council, the event at the end of August welcomed participants with a range of additional needs to take part in a number of activities.

This was the first year that the events team expanded the celebration to include a second day at the Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre and despite the wet weather it was a real success. Participants had smiles of their faces throughout the day as they had the chance to meet and interact with the horses as well as having a ride on them. Other activities included arts and crafts, cycling, boccia and a walk around the nature trail.

The second day took place at River Park Leisure Centre and participants took part in swimming, badminton, squash, boccia, rugby, table tennis and cricket attempting to score their best times or points in each activity. Medals and certificates were given out to everyone who attended each day.

The event comes as part of a continued commitment by the Winchester District Sport & Physical Activity Alliance (SPAA), a group of partners driving sports opportunities forward focusing on developing disability sport as part of the work of the Winchester Disability Sports Forum.

Jeff Levick, Chair of the Winchester Disability Sports Forum and member of the SPAA said:

This event plays a huge part towards delivering the SPAA objectives, providing participants with an opportunity to become involved in a range of different sports. By working with local clubs it will also offer them a pathway for continued participation.

Cllr Frank Pearson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Health & Wellbeing, said:

it is great to be a part of such a fantastic event, working in partnership with so many key organisations shows how far we have come since the first event in 2012 – I am already looking forward to next year!

The event also welcomed Peter Hull MBE and three-time gold medallist at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics who came along to show support to Winchester’s very own Paralympians. Peter said:

What a great way to celebrate the legacy of London 2012 Games, each year looks bigger and better allowing participants to show off their sporting talent.

The major highlight from the event comes from an attendee: Shane Hickson enjoyed himself so much that he is now volunteering two days a week supporting the staff at the Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre.

For more information on disability sport opportunities in Winchester please visit www.winchester.gov.uk/sports/disability-sport.