Otto Bock Healthcare, a partner of the Paralympic Games since 1988, announced Friday (24 February) a resource pack that will offer engaging materials around the London 2012 Paralympic Games. With less than 200 days to go, pupils at primary and secondary schools across the UK have the opportunity to learn about the equipment used by Paralympic athletes to compete. The resource pack also contains facts, images and instruction of how to build a carbon-fibre running blade and provides useful content for group activities.
Otto Bock is the Official Prosthetic, Orthotic and Wheelchair Technical Service Provider of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, providing athletes with immediate repairs for prosthetics, orthoses and wheelchairs. Primary and secondary school pupils will be able to discover the innovative and fascinating equipment used in the Games as well as build its understanding of the Paralympic Movement.
What will school pupils gain from the pack?
• The Paralympic Running Blade – Intriguing information on the running blade including how it works, how it is made and how it differs from an everyday prosthesis.
• Build a Paralympic Running Blade – Pupils can bring the running blade to life with a Papier-mâché kit and instructions on how to make a Paralympic running blade.
• Paralympic athletes – Meet Kelly Cartwright from Australia and Heinrich Popow from Germany, two competitors the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has deemed “Ones to Watch” at London 2012.
• Interesting facts and figures – With over 20 years’ experience spanning the globe as a Paralympic partner, pupils can share Ottobock’s knowledge of the Paralympic Games.
• Images – Access to images of how a Paralympic running blade is made and what it looks like in detail.
The resource pack will offer all pupils interesting insight into the Paralympic Games and how athletes compete with different disabilities. It will offer the younger pupils the opportunity to build a papier-mâché running blade using a mould, while offering the more mature pupils the possibility to debate important social issues surrounding accessibility and mobility inclusion.
“Otto Bock is committed to helping people enjoy the Paralympic Games and we believe the resource pack will prove an invaluable tool to educate young audiences on the equipment used in a fun and engaging way,” said Philip Yates, Managing Director of Otto Bock Healthcare in the UK. “As well as encouraging greater participation, we hope to transform the perception of disabled people in society and promote greater understanding of issues around accessibility and inclusion and their importance beyond the Paralympic Games.”
What is Otto Bock’s role at the Paralympic Games?
Throughout the London 2012 Paralympic Games, a team of 80 Otto Bock prosthetists, orthotists and wheelchair technicians known as The Technical Service Team will operate out of three repair centres in the Athletes’ Village on the Olympic Park, at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Village and at Egham Rowing and Canoe Sprint Village. It will also create and manage smaller repair centres around nine other competition venues, all supported by a mobile unit. They will oversee as many as 2,000 repairs for athletes from 147 countries, co-ordinate 15,000 spare parts and replace 2,000 wheelchair tyres.
Otto Bock has been providing technical services at the Paralympic Games since 1988. This was also the year that carbon-fibre running blades were first used in Paralympic sport, dramatically changing athletes’ performance and the intensity of the competition. At the New York 1984 Paralympic Games, the gold medallist in the men’s T42 100m finished in 26.14 seconds; in the same race at the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games this was 15.77 seconds. To have a chance of winning today athletes must finish in less than 13 seconds. World champion and Otto Bock ambassador, Heinrich Popow, won gold in 12.56 seconds at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships.
For more information on the teacher resource kit and to download the resource sheets, please visit the "Running Blades fit for a Paralympian" section of the Otto Bock website.