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Basingstoke Disabled Games evokes the spirit of London 2012
Buy this photo » David Tripp, from Basingstoke Dis-Sport celebrates
THE SPIRIT of the London 2012 Paralympics was alive and well at the 37th Basingstoke Disabled Games.
Events such as javelin, shot-putt and table tennis attracted more than 40 athletes from sports clubs in the south of England to Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College , in Wessex Close, Cranbourne.
The event, organised by Basingstoke Dis-Sport Beavers, was held last Saturday – the penultimate day of the Paralympics.
Chairman Julian Thomas, who is partially-sighted, said 31 athletes dropped out of the event, which he puts down to the popularity of the Paralympics.
He said: “It’s a little bit disappointing but because we have the Paralympics on, people want to watch it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event for people to go and watch so we cannot begrudge people for doing that. But we have had a fine day. It is fun but people do take it seriously as well.”
Among the Basingstoke athletes was Elizabeth Hardie, 63, of Abbey Road, Popley, who has cerebral palsy. She tried the javelin, table tennis and bean bag throwing.
She said: “I have watched the Paralympics every night. I think the Paralympics GB team has done well, and I hope it inspires more people to get out and try disabled sports. They may not be able to get to the standards of the Paralympians, but I hope they go out and try.”
Andrew Bratt, of Flaxfield Road, Basingstoke, said that watching the Paralympics has inspired him to go swimming again, which he stopped doing 10 years ago when he had a stroke.
The 48-year-old, who has epilepsy, said: “Taking part in these games is good for me because it can help me to keep my brain active and it’s good to see some friends.”
Winners of the 17 events received trophies and medals, which were handed out at the end of the day.