As Britain welcomed home its Paralympic heroes from Rio, non-disabled pupils at Nessfield Primary School in Keighley enjoyed an afternoon of wheelchair rugby with Bradford Bulls’ wheelchair team coach, Richard Johnson, organised by Evolve Senior Health Mentor Brian Padden.
The session followed a plea by Year 5 pupil and wheelchair user Toheed Raza, who asked Brian to “get some wheelchairs, so everyone would know what it’s like for me to do PE”.
Brian, who works for Evolve in schools in the area to promote physical and emotional wellbeing, contacted the Bradford Bulls rugby league team, who have a foundation department to promote sport for children.
Brian said: “The whole country has been inspired by the GB Paralympic team. They showed that anyone with a disability can participate, enjoy and benefit from sport – just as much as non-disabled sportspeople.
“Toheed is a well-loved pupil at Nessfield and it was brilliant to see him given the opportunity to compete on a level playing field. All the children really enjoyed the afternoon, but none as much as Toheed.”
The request followed a cycle day at Nessfield in June organised by Brian to raise money for sports equipment.
The Bradford Bulls Foundation’s primary school officer, Christian Pattison, said: “All the children had a great day and it was wonderful to see them experience something they will probably never do again. After this success we may do more sessions like this.”
Bradford Bulls offer wheelchair sport in the city and have attracted over 70 members since its launch in 2009.
The club play an active role in the community, delivering, fun, inclusive, awareness-raising and active workshops to over 2,000 adults, children and young people in primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and corporate businesses.