Sainsbury’s Super Saturday

Like festivals? Then you’ll love Sainsbury’s Super Saturday festival celebrating the Paralympic Games 2011.

Sainsbury's Super Saturday festival - image -

Set in Clapham Common, London on 10th September 2011, the event will include live music, a variety of food and drink (some alcoholic I’m sure!), and activities for kids. So it’s an event the whole family can enjoy. Performing are acts like The Saturdays, Taio Cruz, and Chipmunk.

Visit Sainsbury’s Super Saturday festivals website to buy tickets (£45 for an adult, minus a booking fee).

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May 20, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Goings on. Leave a comment.

That Paralympic Show returns for another series

Have you been watching That Paralympic Show? In a countdown to the 2012 Paralympics, Channel 4 are now airing a second series – yeah! A lively and refreshing look at everything Paralympic, the show follows athletes through training and participation in a range of Paralympic sports.

That Paralympic Show - Ade Adepitan and Rick Edwards - image -

For those not familiar with Paralympic sports, the show gives a unique ‘insight into the unbelievable ambition and talent of Great Britain’s Paralympic athletes‘. The show, presented mainly by Rick Edwards and Ade Adepitan, has a light-hearted, fun feel to it, in the style of T4. Hopefully, its cool approach to Paralympic sports will encourage youngsters, and everyone really, to get involved, whether that be participating or watching. I know I’ll be glued to the TV in 2012!

So watch out for silly costumes, fun challenges and some very sexy athletes! Visit 4oD to catch up on previous episodes and for more information.

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April 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Sport. 1 comment.

Paralysed teenager Lauren Jones is Paralympic hopeful

15-year-old Lauren Jones has climbed the World Wheelchair Tennis Rankings to reach the top 20, and is now also in the top 3 for Great Britain. Even more astonishing is that fact that Lauren only started playing tennis in March last year, after becoming paralysed.

Wheelchair tennis - Lauren Jones - image -

Lauren is now paralysed from the waist down after falling from a tree in June 2009. During her recovery period at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, Lauren used sport, and in particular tennis, to aid her progress.

But her ambitions don’t stop there as she aims to join the Great British Wheelchair Tennis Squad who will compete in the 2012 Paralympics.

Her mother said; We’re absolutely elated and can’t believe how far she’s come so quickly. But for Lauren, she’s not satisfied yet. She feels she’ll be happy when she’s number one.’

Her family is still fund-raising to fund a new wheelchair and home access for Lauren. If you would like to donate, please visit their Just Giving page.

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January 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Sport. 7 comments.

7/7 bomb survivor becomes Paralympic hopeful

Martine Wiltshire, a victim of the 7/7 London bombings who lost both her legs as a result of the attack, is planning to compete in the 2012 Paralympic games. Since the bombings in 2005, Martine has learned to fly, and is now a member of the Great British women’s sitting volleyball team who hope to enter the 2012 games.

7/7 bombings - Martine Wiltshire - image -

At the recent inquest into the 7/7 bombings, Martine, who gave evidence, was praised by coroner Lady Justice Hallett for her courage calling her ‘truly inspirational and a triumph of human spirit over dreadful adversity‘. I couldn’t agree more. Good luck in the Paralympics Martine!

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November 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Inspiration. 1 comment.

Inside Incredible Athletes – how they’ve achieved despite disabilities

Have you ever wondered what enables people with severe disabilities to perform to such astonishing athletic levels ready for the 2012 paralympics? Then watch Channel 4’s Inside Incredible Athletes with fascinating insights into not only a range of paralympic sports, but also how these sporting giants are able to achieve.

Inside Incredible Athletes - wheelchair rugby - image -

Examining five different paralympic sports; swimming, wheelchair rugby, blind football, horseriding and blade running, it questions how these athletes manage to perform despite impairments. How is it possible for someone to play football blind? How, if the muscles around their lungs don’t work to inflate them properly, can someone exert themselves in a wheelchair? When a swimmer’s cerebral palsy means one side of her body is weaker than the other, why is her best stroke a symmetrical one?

Looking at the biology behind how these athletes’ bodies work, the programme concludes that disabilities can sometimes be beneficial in the pursuit of sporting excellence as they are seen to “break through the predicted limits.” Let me explain.. as an example, with the wheelchair rugby, tests show that using a wheelchair  is faster than running on foot and requires less energy and is thus more efficient – when used by someone who is highly trained of course. Or running on a blade can be faster as it is able to pick up more momentum than a foot which can slow a person down.

Inside Incredible Athletes - Blade running - image -

Horserider Lee Pearson, who was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita meaning he has reduced joint mobility, often competes against able-bodied riders and wins. His astounding ability comes from years of training and strengthening the part of his body that he can control, his hips.

Examples like these show how we are able to adapt and sometimes improve on what we have. It’s all a case of technique, development and most importantly adaptation; “you look at reality you can’t change things it’s just how you deal with them… You have two options, you can do f**k all, or you can do everything you want… why would you want to miss such opportunities” (Mandip Sehmi).

So whether you are an avid paralympic sports fan, or curious of how it all works, you’ll be amazed by the achievements of these athletes. They make seemingly impossible tasks look easy, I mean who can say they have competed at Olympic level! As one wheelchair rugby player so poignantly states, “it shouldn’t have taken me the loss of two 3rds of my body to make the most of the last 3rd, but it did” (Steve Brown).

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September 2, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Sport. 4 comments.

Boris Johnson takes on Ade Adepitan in a game of Boccia

It may seem ages away, two years in fact, but London mayor Boris Johnson did all he could yesterday to publicise the impending 2012 Paralympic Games by playing Boccia with Paralympian Ade Adepitan in Trafalgar Square.

Boccia in Trafalgar Square with Boris Johnson and Ade Adepitan - image -

They were also joined by 21-year-old David Smith, a Boccia gold medalist, and some children hoping to get into the game. Cheeky Boris had to be reprimanded at one point by Ade for edging forward and not sitting back in his chair! Take a look at the VIDEO on the BBC website.

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August 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Sport. Leave a comment.

11-year-old has an elected amputation to fulfil Paralympic dreams

At age 11 I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. But Danielle Bradshaw is so set on a 2012 Paralympic win that she has had an elected amputation of her withered limb.

Danielle Bradshaw - elected amputation - image -

Danielle has one healthy leg but a congenital dislocation of both hips and her right knee means she was unable to use the other. With her Paralympic dreams in sight, Danielle elected to have an amputation as this would allow her to wear a sports blade or use a sports wheelchair. She asserted ‘what’s the point of dragging around something that doesn’t work?’

Danielle Bradshaw - elected before amputation - image -

Before the operation she enthused; ‘I’m not scared, I’m excited. I can’t wait for it to be done so I can start running and training.’ Her mum Debbie said ‘she is an inspiration,’ and I couldn’t agree more.

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August 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Inspiration. Leave a comment.

London Marathon in pictures

If you didn’t get to watch the London Marathon last Sunday, then here’s a chance to take a look at a selection of images from the event.

Phil Packer - London Marathon - image -

Injured serviceman Phil Packer walked the 26 miles in aid of 26 charities in a personal best time of 25 hours 55 mintues, a huge improvement on last years 14 days, and a true testament to his determination to inspire others. You can see more images of Phil Packer at the London Marathon and still donate on his website.

Whilst Phil walked on like a Trojan, Wakako Tsuchida of Japan was victorious in winning the London Marathon women’s wheelchair race; “I had images about this race before I started and knew experience mattered. It was always going to be tactical so I was expecting a sprint finish. The weather was bad at the beginning and even though I’ve just won Boston, I really wanted to win.”

Meanwhile in the London Marathon men’s wheelchair race Josh Cassidy from Canada beat four-time winner David Weir (a Brit); “The weather played a part today. I haven’t trained in rain for three months so I didn’t expect the result today, but it means so much to me.”

London Marathon wheelchair race - image -

London Marathon wheelchair race - image -

London Marathon wheelchair race - image -

Josh Cassidy - London Marathon wheelchair race - image -

I know this is cheesy, but I think everyone who took part in the race, from wheelchair users, to children, to those dressed in silly outfits, are all winners. I say bravo!

April 28, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Inspiration. Leave a comment.

Watch Winter Paralympic highlights

Although us Brits didn’t win any medals at the Winter Paralympics, I still recommend watching the highlights show on BBC iplayer, as well as catching up with your favourite sporting events on Paralympic Sport TV.

In case you are wondering, the Russian Federation came out top overall with 38 medals in total. Germany came second scoring 24 medals, and Canada, the hosting country, came third with 19 medals. For full details of the winning teams take a look at the official Vancouver 2010 website.

Winter Paralympics 2010 - image -

And to supplement your desire for Winter Paralympic imagery, take a look at these amazing images of the games.

March 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Sport. Leave a comment.

Inspiring disabilities on Sports Relief

I don’t know if you agree, but I find that television events such as Sports Relief can be a mixed bag of comedy genius and cringe-worthy, cheesy attempts at humour. But with a myriad of stars jumping on the fund-raising bandwagon, I approached this years Sports Relief with reserved optimism!

However, my fears were pleasantly met by a night of belly-laughing fun, that is when you weren’t weeping at the heart-warming appeals. But that is not what I am here to talk about on the Inspire blog, my desire to comment on Sports Relief came from seeing the inclusion of sports people with disabilities.

Included in the all male choir was wheelchair user Ade Adepitan, and dressage Paralympian Lee Pearson, along with tone-deaf athletes of course! Ok that doesn’t seem a lot, and I’ll be honest, I was disappointed there wasn’t a Paralympic part, like a wheelchair basketball-a-thon!

Eddie Izzard Sports Relief - disabilities - image -

But the best thing for me was that during the third part of Eddie Izzard‘s marathon challenge (where he ran 43 marathons, over a 1,000 miles in 51 days around the UK) he was joined by not only Ade Adepitan, but also a Andy, a soldier who lost his legs in a mountain climbing accident after returning home from Iraq. Andy has covered over 1,000 miles on his hand cycle, and decided to join Eddie Izzard to motivate him on part of his run. One comment he made has stuck in my head; “you can do anything you want to do, it just takes a lot of ingenuity, normally some sort of specialist equipment, and a lot of stubbornness, but you can still go out and you can still do anything you want.”

March 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Inspiration. Leave a comment.

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