Monday, 14 November 2011

Paralympic Games 2012- Swimming

Where: Olympic Park - Aquatics Centre

: Thursday 30th Aug – Saturday 8th Sept 2012

Medal Events: 148
Athletes: 600 (350 men, 250 women)

Evidence of people swimming for sport dates back all the way back to Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek times, and it is now a hugely popular activity all over the world. With 600 swimmers competing in nearly 150 medal events across 10 days in the beautiful new Aquatics Centre, the Swimming competition at the Paralympic Games promises plenty of excitement.

The Basics
Four strokes are used in Paralympic competition: Freestyle (essentially front crawl), Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly. All four strokes feature in the Medley Relay and 200m Individual Medley events; in addition, all of them except Butterfly feature in the 150m Individual Medley events for certain classifications. Races take place in a 50m pool, and may be started in a number of ways: from a standing start; using a dive start from a sitting position on the starting platform; and from within the water.

Swimmers are classified according to how their impairment affects their ability to perform each stroke. Classification numbers 1-10 cover athletes with physical impairments, with class 1 swimmers’ impairment having the greatest impact on their ability to perform strokes, through to class 10 swimmers’ impairment having the least impact. Athletes with a visual impairment compete in classes 11-13, with class 11 having little or no sight, through to class 13 having limited sight. Athletes with an intellectual impairment compete in class 14.

Breaststroke uses greater leg propulsion than any other stroke, therefore athletes with a physical impairment often have a different class for this event compared to Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly. This is also taken into account when athletes compete in the Individual Medley. This is shown by the prefix:

• S before the class represents Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly • SB before the class represents Breaststroke
• SM before the class represents Individual Medley

Paralympic Swimming - Past & Present
Swimming is one of the few sports to have featured at every Paralympic Games since 1960, and remains one of the most popular on the Paralympic programme. At London 2012, the Swimming events will be held at the dazzling new Aquatics Centre, built especially for the Games in the Olympic Park.

Jargon Buster
Medley: A combination event in which a swimmer or team swims separate legs of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.

Classification: Provides a structure for competition, whereby athletes with disabilities are grouped in classes defined by the degree of function presented by the disability.

Tapper: A ‘tapper’ may be required by a swimmer with a visual impairment to indicate that that they are approaching the end of the pool.

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Friday, 11 November 2011

Remembrance - November 11th

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

For the Fallen,
Linden Binyan
Year 1914

Paralympic Games 2012- Shooting

Where: The Royal Artillery Barracks
When: Thursday 30th Aug – Thursday 6th Sept 2012

Medal events: 12

Athletes: 140 (100 men, 40 women)

Having been practised competitively for centuries, the tough and demanding sport of Shooting is now popular all over the world. At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the 12 events will be held in the historic surroundings of The Royal Artillery Barracks, the perfect setting for a sport that should offer plenty of drama and tension across eight days of competition.

The Basics
The Paralympic Shooting programme includes both rifle and pistol events: three men’s events, three women’s events and six mixed events. Athletes with different disabilities compete together in two classes – SH1, for athletes who can support the weight of their firearm themselves, and SH2, for athletes who use a shooting stand to support their arm.

The target is made up of 10 scoring rings. The centre ring, known as the bull’s-eye, is worth 10 points, or 10.9 points in finals. Athletes shoot from a variety of positions – standing, sitting or prone – at distances of 10m, 25m and 50m. The rules for each event depend on the firearm, the distance, shooting position, number of shots and the time limit, but each competition consists of a qualification and a final round.

Paralympic Shooting - Past & Present
Shooting has been part of the Paralympic Games since Toronto in 1976, when three events were held. At one point the number of events expanded to as many as 29, but since the Sydney 2000 Games a standard 12 events have been included.
At London 2012, the Shooting competition will be held at a truly historic venue: The Royal Artillery Barracks. Its rich heritage dates back to 1716, when a Royal Warrant authorised the formation of two artillery companies at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich. The current building was constructed between 1775 and 1802.

Jargon Buster
Pistol: One of two firearms used in Paralympic Shooting, the pistol is shot with one hand.

Shoot-off: A tiebreaker.

Three positions: Rifle events in which competitors shoot in standing, kneeling and prone positions.

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Monday, 7 November 2011

Paralympic Games 2012- Sailing

Where: Weymouth and Portland, Dorset

When: Saturday 1st Sept –Thursday 6th Sept 2012

Medal Events: 3

Athletes: 80

Sailing for athletes with a disability began to develop as a competitive sport in the 1980s, just over 10 years before it joined the Paralympic programme. Mastery over ever-changing conditions on open water requires skill, tactics and nerve, all of which will be essential for competitors in the Paralympic Sailing events at London 2012.

The Basics
At the Paralympic Games, athletes compete in three mixed events: the Single-Person, Two-Person and Three-Person Keelboat competitions. The design of the keelboats used in Paralympic competition provides greater stability, and the boats have open cockpits to allow more room for the sailors. Classification is used to level the playing field where there are a variety of disability levels.

Paralympic Sailing - Past & Present
Sailing was introduced to the Paralympic Games as a demonstration event at Atlanta in 1996. Four years later, it became a full medal sport at the Sydney 2000 Games. At London 2012, the Paralympic Sailing competition will be held in the beautiful but testing waters of Weymouth Bay on the south coast of England.

Jargon Buster
- Port: When looking forwards, the left-hand side of the craft.

- Starboard: When looking forwards, the right-hand side of the craft.

- Tacking: When a boat passes through the eye of the wind in order to change direction. Because it is impossible to sail directly into the wind, sailing boats must zigzag.

- Keel boat: Any boat with a keel as opposed to a centreboard or dagger board as used in dinghies.

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Thursday, 3 November 2011

Paralympic Games 2012 - Rowing

Where: Eton Dorney
When: Friday 31st Aug – Sunday 2nd Sept 2012

Medal Events: 4
Athletes: 96 (48 men, 48 women)

Although its history dates back centuries, Rowing only came of age as a competitive sport in the last 200 years. Interest began to increase after Oxford and Cambridge Universities began their rivalry on the Thames in 1829, a rivalry that continues today in the shape of the annual Boat Race. The sport made its Paralympic debut in Beijing – when Great Britain topped the medal table – and looks set to offer plenty of drama at London 2012.

The Basics
Paralympic Rowing is commonly referred to as ‘adaptive’ Rowing, meaning that the equipment is adapted so the athlete can practise the sport rather than the sport being adapted to the athlete.

At London 2012, the programme will feature four medal events. These include two mixed-gender events – the Coxed Four and Double Sculls – plus the men’s and women’s Single Sculls. All the races will be held over a 1000m course.

Paralympic Rowing events at London 2012 will all begin with heats, with two boats from each heat qualifying directly for the final. All remaining boats will then compete in two repechage races, which offer a second chance to qualify for the final and row for gold.

Paralympic Rowing - Past & Present
The newest arrival on the Paralympic programme, Rowing appeared at the Games for the first time at Beijing in 2008. At London 2012, the competition will be held on the spectacular lake at Eton Dorney.

Jargon Buster
- Coxswain: The coxswain, or ‘cox’, sits at the stern and is responsible for steering the boat and directing the crew.

- Scull: To row with two oars, one in each hand. 

- Sweep: To row with one oar

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