Pupils sample the Paralympics for future inspiration

DISABLED pupils are to be given a taste of various sports prior to this year’s Paralympic Games in London.An event in Edinburgh today will allow schoolchildren to play football, tennis, badminton and boccia – in which players try to propel balls as close as possible to a target – among others.

The event, at the Forrester and St Augustine’s community sports hub, aims to increase awareness among disabled pupils at mainstream schools of sporting options open to them.

It is the first sporting event in Edinburgh to target disabled young people in mainstream schools, and education bosses said they would consider extending the event across the city.

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Organisers said the event would be beneficial for the children involved.

Gary Fraser, Scottish Disability Sport regional manager for the east of Scotland, said: “This is an event for kids with physical and sensory disabilities in mainstream schools, some of whom come to other events that we hold, but in very low numbers.

“Disabilities sport is difficult for kids in these schools to access because they are simply not aware of it. It’s not something that they know about and it’s not something their parents know about.

“And because of the inclusive nature of mainstream education, it’s not something they’ll be getting lots of information on at school.”

Pupils will be split into one of four groups – ambulant, power chairs, wheelchairs and sensory.

There will also be a question-and-answer session with parents to encourage involvement in sports clubs that cater for disabled children.