The District 1070 Disability Games were held on Sunday 24th April 2022 at Lincoln's beautiful Lincoln Christ's Hospital School (educating in Lincoln since 1090). Disabled competitors of all ages took part in archery, darts, kurling, table tennis, weightlifting, boccia, swimming, wheelchair slalom, and wheelchair dash. Unfortunately the shooting had to be cancelled for technical reasons, but the organisers quickly replaced it with basketball hoop shooting. This proved immensely popular, so it will definitely feature in next year's Games.
Nearly 120 competitors came from all over the Rotary district, which includes Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Cambridge, Northamptonshire, and Rutland. The organising team comprised 10 Rotary clubs; Lindum Lincoln, Bailgate Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincoln Colonia, Grantham, Grantham Kesteven, Grantham Sunrise, Alford & Mablethorpe, Spilsby, and Woodhall Spa. Team leader Simon Kalson (Lindum Lincoln) says this was a real team effort, with a huge number of moving parts to organise, which was richly rewarded by the obvious fun the competitors enjoyed.
All competitors and carers were provided with a substantial lunch pack. Many of them knew each other from previous Games, so it was a chance to network and renew friendships, as well as a few sporting rivalries.
Year 11 pupils from the school were appointed Games Ambassadors for the day. Their duties included vehicle entrance and car park control, helping direct competitors around the venue, locating missing competitors for knockout rounds, helping distribute the lunch packs, collecting lanyards, and handing out individual medals. They also helped set up for the Games on Saturday, and helped strip back down again on Sunday when the Games finished. What a huge credit to themselves and the school. One of them is already asking how to become a Rotarian. (There is already an Interact Club at the school, sponsored by Lindum Lincoln).
VIP visitors for the day included Rotary District Governor David Morris, the Deputy Mayor of Lincoln, Rosanne Kirk, and Team GB Paralympian (Boccia) Will Hipwell. They all helped award the winners trophies during the day.
Simon's personal view - "I have been involved in the Disability since 2021, including the National Rotary Games until they ceased. The Games are very complex to organise; however the rewards are immense, and I have always felt they are one of the greatest community events we are involved in. Seeing so much fun and enjoyment makes it so worthwhile."
I copy two email testimonials, one from a mum, and one from the archery organising club. They say far more than I could even attempt:
Well – what an amazing day! I can’t thank you and your Rotary colleagues enough for the wonderful day that my family and I have enjoyed today. As you predicted, Thomas absolutely loved the sport and the socialising. He has taken his 2 trophies to bed with him tonight (so he can see them as soon as he wakes up) and said that at school he watches all the other kids getting trophies in assembly and has always wanted one of his own, now he’s got 2! As well as competing in the swimming he also had ago at archery, weightlifting, boccia, darts and basketball and he made lots of new friends among Team Woodhall Warriors. It was a wonderful opportunity for him. One of the highlights though was meeting Will – what an absolute pleasure it was to speak to him about his Paralympic experience, and what an inspiration for Thomas to see what he could achieve one day too, maybe. We could not thank him enough for taking the time to visit.
Emma who actually won the junior archery competition asked if her friend could have the trophy as she had already won one and she wanted both of them to have a trophy. We let them both have a second go and he did get the best score on that so technically he did win if we counted both of their scores. Emma showed exceptional sportsmanship and she clearly valued her friendship more than the trophy. We all need friends like Emma and hopefully she will be a Rotarian one day.