Third Paralympic School Day in Spain with Beijing 2008 Athletes24.09.2008
The return of three Spanish athletes to their home in Sitges, Spain, saw the welcomed reception of more than 200 eager children, ages 8 to 12. Abderrahman Ait, Sarai Gascon and Roger Puigbo arrived in the spirit of teaching, explaining the various experiences they each had at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
The event, “After the Games”, was organized by the Catalan Federation of Sports for Persons with a Physical Disability (FCEDF), and supported by Spain’s National Paralympic Committee. The children asked the athletes questions about their participation at the Beijing Paralympics and their progression into Paralympic Sport on an elite level. The athletes also gave the children a chance to touch their medals won in Beijing.
The three athletes at the “After the Games” event each had their own success in the Chinese capital. Abderrahman Ait took the silver medal in the Men’s 1500m (T46) and the bronze medal in the Men’s 800m (T46), 15-year-old Swimmer Sarai Gascon took the silver medal in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke (SB9), and Roger Puigbo finished fifth in the Athletics Men’s 800m Final (T53).
In the courtyard of the children’s school, CEIP Esteve Barrachina of Sitges, the children were able to practice several Paralympic sports, including Athletics, Archery, Powerlifting, Wheelchair Fencing and Wheelchair Basketball. The exercise followed with competitions in drawing and painting activities. The President of the FCEDF, Josep Lluis Amador, and the Town Councillor of Education in Sitges, Javier Fernandez, both distributed medals and diplomas to the participants at the end of the activities.
This was the third Paralympic School Day (PSD) in Spain, continuing a tradition set by the first Paralympic School Day on 13 March 2008, which took place in the ski resort of La Molina. The second Spanish PSD took place at the Can Llobet Public School of Barbera del Valles on 19 May and included Catalonian athletes and Paralympic medallists David Barrallo and Jordi Morales.
The Paralympic School Day is an educational programme initiated by the IPC. The aim of the programme is to create awareness and understanding in schools about persons with a disability. It includes a set of activities that educate youth about Paralympic Sport, individual differences and disability issues in a fun and playful environment. These activities can be organized during a normal school day and target an audience of young students, ages 6 to 15.