Disabled games — the biggest ever in Devon

Wednesday 30th January 2013 12:00 am
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YOUNGSTERS from Tavistock College have been involved in the biggest celebration of disabled sport ever staged in Devon.

They were among nearly 500 competitors and around 100 young volunteers took part in the Devon Winter Ability Games at the Life Centre in Plymouth.

A total of 26 school from across the county came together for an event that provides an important showcase for disability sport in Devon. Tavistock College, along with Ivybridge Community College and Kingsbridge Community College represented West Devon.

The massive success of the 2012 Paralympic Games is seen as a significant factor in attracting a record number of participants to the Ability Games.

Youngsters were competing at indoor rowing, five-a-side football and tennis. They also had the chance to try a range of sports like table cricket, tri-golf, badminton, indoor athletics and bowls.

Exeter based Paralympians Robin Williams and Keryn Seal from the GB blind football squad and David Hill, the former Kelly College, Tavistock student who swam at the Athens Games in 2004, were on hand to give the youngsters even more encouragement.

'It's really nice that disabled people now are noticed as Paralympians rather than disabled people so it's had a really powerful impact and it's great to see it continuing,' said Hill.

James Bogue from Active Devon, who organise the event, said: 'We strive to ensure that sporting opportunities for people across the county are inclusive. A couple of years ago when we started up these events we were getting maybe a hundred people taking part. The Paralympics raised awareness of disability sport to a whole new level and I think we're seeing the legacy of that here. It's great to have so many young people inspired to get involved in sport and we're delighted that we can give them the chance to compete at such a fantastic venue.'

The event was part of the national School Games initiative, launched last year to motivate millions of young people across the country to take part in competitive school sport.

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