Sports Talk | Parafed Bay of Plenty
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Written by Cherryl Thompson, Sport Development, Parafed Bay of Plenty
Parafed, the not for profit sports organisation for people with a physical disability, offers loads of opportunities in para, inclusive or adapted sports.
Para sports are the paralympic recognised sports that can be played at club level or lead to the Paralympic pathway.
Local para sports
Parafed Bay of Plenty has several established para codes that meet regularly: Wheelchair basketball and rugby meet on Monday nights, para table tennis on Tuesday nights and Boccia meets Wednesday nights. Blind bowls and blind cricket meet over the summer season and Sailability have several sailing days every month. Although many of the codes are based in Tauranga, we have clubs ready to start in Rotorua and interest from Whakatāne and the Eastern Bay.
Inclusive sports are achieved by working with schools and clubs, providing free training for teachers and coaches .We also work with Sport Bay of Plenty to ensure regular inclusive sport opportunities and events are available. This month, primary schools are preparing for their athletic sports.
Like swimming, athletics already have effective standards for disabled athletes to be able to compete fairly at track and field. The training provides teachers and coaches the tools and resources to provide fair competition for disabled students. AIMS Games is a great example of this. Currently there are three para sports at the AIMS Games. Schools are also encouraged to include their disabled students in all other codes offered.
Adapting sport to be inclusive
Adapted sports are sports that accommodate many levels and abilities. Parafed supports adaptive rowing, adaptive paddle boarding, adaptive waka ama and adaptive surfing, and there’s loads of opportunities for disabled people living in the Bay to try a new sport!
Many of these sports may require adaptive equipment or training to be ready for participation or competition. We have worked with Aspire Gym, Mahi Performance and Switched On Gym who are all very proactive in assisting disabled people to be more active.
Young people on the national stage
Last month Parafed Bay of Plenty hosted the Wheelchair Basketball Nationals, and also sent 12 young people to represent the Bay of Plenty in 17 sport codes at a three day national disability sports competition in Auckland.
This month we will concentrate on athletics, sailing and boccia. Boccia is a Paralympic sport that is played indoors and players are seated. It is similar to bowls and petanque, and played with hand stitched leather balls. This is a game which is particularly inclusive all ages – young children to older people – of all abilities. We will meet weekly at Matua Hall though to December.
If you’d like to know more, or get involved, the drop us a line:
Parafed Bay of Plenty
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