Whether it’s Goalball, or any of the wheelchair sports, such as AFL, Tennis, and Basketball, these accessible sports are in a league of their own.
Forcing your other senses to activate, they call upon your collective motor skills, and your coordination in a team effort, and the skills you might have relied on before-feel like they’re in short supply on the day.
The vibe is electric, and the gym hall comes to life with moans and grunts as balls fling through the air and the challenge to land a basketball in the net from a wheelchair is much harder than it looks
Or when it comes to Goalball (played with blacked out goggles) it’s in trusting all your other senses to know where the ball is, at all times.
We call these; Accessible Sports or Para Sports and as part of Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness’ (SUSF) goal to increase inclusivity across all demographics, we’ve teamed up with Disability Sports Australia and Disability Sports NSW, to roll out an accessible sports program that is limited to no one.
There is no registration required and it’s simply a turn-up on the day event. The next Para Sports Gala Day is 21st September.
Your enthusiasm. Well…it is harder on many levels, if you think about the kickback a wheelchair has when trying to land a basketball in the net or trying to get back the ball after you’ve dropped it in a skirmish playing AFL. In one context, these games are familiar and in another they are wholly different as you rely on motor skills you might have taken for granted.
SEMESTER 1 PARA SPORTS WRAP
In the 80-year history of Interfaculty Sport, this was the first time for a parasport to be included. The competition attracted close to 100 people and an incredible 11 registered teams. Engineering 2-managed to secure the win.
WHEELCHAIR GALA DAY GOALBALL
The goal is to roll the ball into the opponent’s goal while the opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies. Played while wearing eye shades (visually impairing goggles), bells inside the ball help orientate the players by indicating the direction of the oncoming ball.
Goalball made its Paralympic debut in Toronto, Canada in 1976, with the women’s event in New York in 1984.
Did you know? This sport was the first of its kind invented in 1946 to help rehabilitate veterans who had lost their sight during the Second World War.
Played as a team sport. Instead of kicking the ball, it’s hand ball, where the equivalent to a kick is an underarm throw, below shoulder height, comparable to a hand pass.
Played as a team sport. One of the biggest differences between basketball and wheelchair basketball is dribbling. A wheelchair basketball player can push a manual wheelchair one or two times while the ball remains in their hands or lap.
Did you know? Wheelchair basketball was one of the foundation sports at the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960.
Played in a single or in a double. One of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world, this sport is played in the same way as able-bodied tennis, with the only exception being that a wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball.
Nifty Tennis Tip: You can store your tennis balls in the spokes of your wheels.
Paralympic debut: Barcelona, Spain in 1992. It has been played at all four Grand Slams since 2007, while the BNP Paribas World Team Cup is the sport’s flagship international team competition.
COME AND JOIN IN NEXT TIME
Para Sports Gala Day is 21st September. It’s Open to Everyone. To be held on Eastern Avenue.