Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities

For three days the students at the vocational school have participated in numerous sports including athletics, volleyball, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, swimming, petanque and table tennis.

At the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games or any major sporting event there is only one 100m race, but in the Paralympics and in competitions for people with disabilities there are many 100m races, all depending on the ability and disability of the athlete. An athlete with only one leg will not race against another athlete who is using a wheelchair.

For many new students at the school, especially those who were born with a severe disability, it was the first time they had ever participated in a race or as a member of a sports team.

You could see how nervous they were, and yet when the race started and they realised that all the cheers were for them it didn’t really matter who won. Even those who were last to cross the finish line were awarded one point, giving them all a great sense of achievement.

There were many highlights of the three days, including the four young men, all living with cerebral palsy, who raced for the very first time and could not stop smiling. There was the eighteen year old students who had lost one of his legs at the age of eleven, and yet he swims like a fish and won every race he entered. The young lady who broke the record for javelin throwing and everyone agreed that the final game of the wheelchair basketball competition was the roughest ever played, and it really was.

In mid June the students at the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities competed in their school’s annual sports competition.