Children from Northolmes Junior School in Horsham were joined by a Paralympic hopeful recently as they learnt what it was like to get around in a wheelchair.
Lizzie Williams, a wheelchair athlete who is on the road to Tokyo 2020, visited the school to share her inspirational life story and to kick-start the week with an assembly.
Having seen some of our children’s reaction at the Paralympic event organised by Horsham Disctirct Council (HDC) in September, we wanted to give the opportunity to all our students but with a message beyond fun.
The ethos behind it was to develop thinking about others, tolerance, resilience and perseverance
Mrs Williams, PE lead, organised to hire sports wheelchairs from HDC. Lizzie was so pleased to see we had sports wheelchairs she asked to stay and watch our PE sessions. We maximised her enthusiasm and before she knew it she was teaching the children how to move.
All six of our classes had two PE sessions during the week, involving wheelchairs – basic control, PE warm up games, then either wheelchair football or basket/netball.
They were encouraged to think beyond the lesson being fun, what if they couldn’t get out the wheelchair and walk. It has opened their minds if only a little.
They were also used in after school clubs and we got the children to think about how we could adapt the game (cricket and netball, we tried at hockey but holding the stick and pushing both wheels was a step to far).
Our ‘Change for Life’ groups explored the school and accessibility in a wheelchair and the older ones also played volleyball.
Feedback from parents has been really positive. Even passers-by were commenting and asking questions.
The week finished with a Mufti Day which raised over £150 to help support Lizzie.