Tuesday, May 23rd was Para School Day at Cygnaeus School. English Classes 3 – 6 were able to participate in several para sport activities during the course of the day. The para sports activities were an extension of Finnish Schools on the Move (Liikuva koulu) in which we have been participating all year long.
Rules for playing para games, as well as special equipment required to play the games, such as blindfolds, special jingle balls and a hot air ball, had been sent to our school specifically for using on Para School Day. Mr. Juho coordinated the time schedule of activities.
The photo collage above and below show a game called Goal Ball. There are three blindfolded players on each team. Each player has a designated area in which to play. Players kneel on their knees and may fall onto their sides, either to the left or the right, to prevent a goal.
A throw toward the goal is made from a kneeling position or by standing up and bowling the jingle ball. The judge or referee can only call “Play”, Out” and “Change” while the ball is in play.
Hot Air Ball is a game that is played by keeping their backsides on the floor. There is no scoring or point system. The goal is to simply keep the hot air ball afloat, and moving back and forth over the net from one court to another.
It was interesting to note what an atmosphere of bonhomie these para sports activities generated among the English Class pupils. In second grade great discussions took place spontaneously about how everyone can be physically active, as well as the importance of being physically active. It seems that our pupils were very familiar with several Paralympic events and even could name the athlete from Pori, Leo Pekka Tähti, who has won five gold medals in the Paralympics.
English Class first and second graders will have an opportunity to try these para sports according to their own schedules next week or even next fall.