Fifty young people with disabilities took part in a sports competition at the Regis School, Bognor, when it hosted its first School Games new age kurling competition.
The competition, which took place in December, gave young people with varied learning and physical disabilities from primary, secondary and special schools a rare opportunity to represent their school and show off their skills.
New age kurling is based on the winter sport of curling. Instead of solid stones on ice, the indoor variant uses wheeled stones that glide across a smooth floor. There are no brooms – but the techniques and tactics are very similar, involving knocking their opponents stones out of the way to get closest to a jack.
The sport, which involves high levels of control and hand-to-eye coordination, can be adapted by the addition of chutes to launch the stones, making it fully accessible to players in wheelchairs and those with limited mobility or motor control.
In West Sussex West, the School Games disability sport competition is led by a dedicated Inclusion School Sports Coordinator, Katy Thomas, who ran the new age kurling comp at the Regis School.
“Having Katy’s expertise of disability really supports these high quality events,” said Regis School School Games Organiser Sean O’Connor. “Combining this with the School Games competition formats allows all young people the opportunity to compete.”
Katy and Sean used the new age kurling event to talent scout young people to represent West Sussex West at the Parallel Youth Games 2013, the annual county finals for children with disabilities, linked to the Sussex School Games, which takes place this summer.
The new age kurling competition was sponsored by the Arun Sports Association for the Disabled (ASAD), which supplied their equipment and offered advice and support.