Spinning wheels and life stories
On wheels is not always easier, as Year 9 found out when Wheelchair Sports NSW Roadshow demonstrated the tricks and challenges of playing basketball in wheelchairs before letting the girls have a turn.
The Roadshow team raises awareness of wheelchair sport, builds understanding of people with disabilities, encourages integration, and incorporates road safety messages because most people get into wheelchairs because of road accidents.
“Thrills not spills” was the working title of the PDHPE day which wove some strong messages through physical activity including fast and funky Zumba, talk sessions and a play. Year 9’s wheelchair basketball game was at a snail’s pace compared to competitive teams’ games.
“It’s fun to spin the chair but very hard to judge how much arm strength to use to throw a ball accurately because you are not using your legs or any of your usual momentum,” said Lucy who plays basketball.
There were clear messages about driving: keep both hands on the wheel so don’t text, don’t fiddle with sound system - and don’t drive when drinking or even when tired.
So perhaps don’t drive after the Zumba class - which moved to great music and would boost anyone’s dance-floor confidence but was tiring to watch, even for mere observers.
A local visiting group told personal stories of life difficulties created or magnified by use of drugs and alcohol. Towards the end of the day, Brainstorm Productions presented “Cheap Thrills”, about a couple of friends’ wild times fraternising with alcohol and other drugs before one becomes suicidal. The last session was a discussion of a very full, serious yet active day.