The aim of the event was to help raise awareness of the Paralympics as part of the London 2012 Get Set Education programme. A group of students from three secondary schools, Bottisham Village College, Parkside and St. Bede’s, worked alongside Sport National Diploma students from Long Road to find out more about paralympic sport, in particular wheelchair basketball.
Students met Graham Bool, three-time Paralympian, who has represented Great Britain at Wheelchair Basketball. Graham talked about the development of the sport and equipment alike. They also heard from Claire Thorby, who works for Living Sport and is charge of running Disability Awareness Workshops in the Cambridge area.
This was followed by Wheelchair Basketball sessions led by Gordon Perry, who won the first London Wheelchair marathon in 1983 and competed in many more. His first love, however, has always been wheelchair basketball. Gordon has played National League basketball at all levels for twenty-six years. With LGS Jets he won the First Division National Championships (the forerunner to today’s Premier League) three times.
Lord Coe started by viewing an exhibition of photographs by former Long Road student Thomas Griffith.Thomas was a photographer at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, and his photos have very much captured the excellence and endeavour of Paralympic Sport. Lord Coe then joined the warm-up drills for the wheelchair basketball training and tournament with the students from the three secondary schools, and watched the start of the tournament, which was run by Long Road students.
Lord Coe spoke to students about the impact of London 2012 on sport. He went on to present eight Long Road students with Sports Personality Award trophies. These reward sporting commitment, hard work and endeavour over the course of the season. Awardees are always on time for training, they help out in organising teams for fixtures, show positive play on the field and show respect to the opposition and officials.
Finally, Lord Coe presented the Get Set Network plaque to the college.