115 youngsters have returned home from a four day extravaganza of disability sport at the National Junior Games.
Organised by WheelPower the national charity of wheelchair sport, the Junior Games is one of the most renowned events on the calendar for disability sport. As many as 20 inclusive sports were on offer and led by experienced coaches at the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, Stoke Mandeville Stadium.
A week of team triumphs and personal success stories saw countless medals won, personal best achieved as well as personal barriers overcome.
14 year old Oli Pink of Angmering School in Sussex demonstrated the skills required for success at two of the most popular sports Target Shooting and Pool.
Oli managed to fire a remarkable 99 out of 100 score in Shooting, and attracted the attention of the GB representatives who hinted he may have potential to compete at Parlamypic level.
He said: “I’ve played table cricket, boccia, I tried fencing – that was fun. I played in the pool competition and I won that and I am playing in the polybat.
“I’ve been here for the Junior Games three times already and as soon as I found out there was shooting I signed up because I’d been with the scouts and I really enjoyed it and I want to try and do it more.”
“I think I’m going to try and find a club near me and go to it often and practice more.”
As well as the competition element, the games are about giving young people with a disability the opportunity to discover what activities they can flourish in rather than what they can’t.
Nat Webb, Director of Parasport at Angmering School said “The students have all loved this week at the Junior Games. If you look at their faces they are all beaming with happiness, it’s been absolutely fantastic.”
WheelPower’s Stewart Jeeves who organises the event said “Year after year the National Junior Games enable children from all around the country to find sports that they enjoying doing and benefit from competing in a fun and inclusive environment.
“Many of the participants will have overcome so many challenges in their lifetime in relation to their condition or disability so to get this stage of being able to participate in a wide range of activities and enjoy the many physical and social benefits of sports is absolutely life transforming”