A sport we call predator rugby

  • Friday, March 22, 2013
  • 1

From time to time this blog makes sideways shifts into areas that are not about running per se.

It probably has a lot to do with my upcoming trip to Loughborough University but I have been thinking a lot this week about my job working with young people with disabilities, especially in a sporting context.
At our specialist school we work hard on making sure everyone is included and has a role. I find it hugely motivating and stimulating adapting games and sports to fit every class member. We take an enormously flexible approach, changing games and rules even while a game is in progress to make sure all get a punt and can achieve. It takes quite a paradigm shift in thinking especially if you are a purist. If you were to come and watch us play football for instance you would recognise it as football but not in the shape or form you are used to! Imagine having a group of young people, some in wheelchairs (a mix of electric and manual) and frames, some hearing impaired, partially sighted and some with cognitive disabilities all playing together. It should be chaos but  is highly competitive, rewarding and mostly played in an excellent spirit.
Some of the achievements may look tiny to outsiders but have massive resonance in our environment - and sometimes they have been years in the making and are fleeting but this does not diminish them.
It has a lot to do with adaption, of space and equipment as well as the rules.
Recently we have coined the phrase fusion sports as we take elements from different games and create a new sport out of the mash up. So idly running around with a rugby ball a few months ago led to the (ongoing) development of a sport we call predator rugby. This is a hybrid of wheelchair rugby (murderball) tag and I guess basketball.This fierce game is taking the upper school by storm and the kids have independently written up the rules as they stand at the moment.
This to me, is what success looks like. young people taking ownership, competing hard, feeling stimulated and looking out for each other in community. Success is being able to stand back and let them work it out for themselves.
I love my job, I really do.

1 comment :

  1. This is totally amazing Bhundu, totally awe inspiring, I wish I could have the job satisfaction you so obviously get.