Games Makers trained to mop like soldiers

Tanbridge games makers
Tanbridge games makers

The Games are not over yet and Tanbridge students who are in rigourous training to become Paralympic Games Makers are looking forward to arguably the most impressive half of the show.

Fifteen pupils from Tanbridge House School in Guildford Road, Horsham, who were given the rare opportunity to become Games Makers have been surprised by the strict training required to be able to become ‘sitting volleyball moppers’.

Rachael Knowles, of Cedar Drive in Southwater, and Laura Vizor, of Redford Avenue in Horsham, said they were ‘shocked’ by the rules involved in mopping the sitting volleyball arena after having six group training sessions to prepare.

Rachael explained: “There’s a certain way you have to walk, and a certain way to bow, and sit. You even have to mop in time with the other moppers.”

Laura added: “You also have to know all the movements of the ref so you know exactly what’s happening.

“I’ll be retrieving the ball as well, so I’m nervous about rolling the ball in the right way without it bouncing and it has to go quite a long distance in a long straight line without disturbing the players.”

The 16-year-olds said they both felt honoured to get the opportunity to work for seven days in the second week of the Paralympic Games, despite the prospect of getting up for 5.20am trains and getting home at 1.30am on some days.

Rachael said that she particularly wanted take part because her grandfather is blind and has been in the sailing and Judo Paralympics.

“I wanted to see what it might have been like for him and help at an event which has helped him.”

But both girls are disappointed that people keep saying the Games are over. “We are hoping the coverage for the Paralympics is the same as for the Olympics,” explained Rachael. “Everyone keeps saying London 2012 is over but it’s not!”