About 400 adults with learning and other disabilities attended the Inspirational Multi-Sports Games and competed in various sports including athletics, curling, handball and Zumba at Torbay Leisure Centre in Paignton recently.
Robert Owen Communities (ROC), a charity that supports people with learning disabilities in Devon and Cornwall, organised the games to inspire people with learning disabilities to participate in new and different sports within the community. The aim was to encourage them to continue participating in sports on a regular basis.
The Inspirational Multi-Sport Games was the final one to take place this year after three others were held earlier in the year. After the success of these 4 games, there are now plans to run more sporting events next year.
Sarah Piercy, who won the Wheelchair London Marathon in 2000, made a guest appearance and displayed her racing abilities. “After years of being picked on because of my disability at school, I now have shown to many that whatever ability you have it's not all about winning, it's the taking part that counts. I witnessed many people at the Inspirational Multi-Sport Games having a great time trying out different sports and asking for more.”
Paul Gray, GB wheelchair badminton coach, also attended the event. “I was fortunate to get the chance to represent my country in tournaments around the UK and Europe,” he said. “At the beginning of this year I stopped playing competitively to take up coaching people with learning disabilities to play badminton and I now coach for the Special Olympics in Plymouth and the Ability Club in Torbay. I want to give people with learning disabilities the same opportunities that I was given so they can enjoy their chosen sport to the maximum. Coaching people with learning disabilities is the best sporting decision I have ever made.”