There were too many memories to say one stood out from everything else. So here are some more pictures.
The strapline “Inspire a generation” could be seen everywhere across the park and the village. We all have to play our part to inspire a generation, if that means we share our stories of how we got involved with Wheelchair Basketball, volunteer some of our time or be the best officials we can be.
This photo shows the gym within the Paralymic village which is now part of Chobham Academy a school which opened last week.
This little character entertained officials more than you will ever know, he looks like the Gruffalo from a storybook. He was actually an Angus Aberdeen cow. ”Angus” had some adventures and could even stat a game of Wheelchair basketball by the end of the games.
As part of our accommodation there was a residents centre and all of the gamemakers who were on duty were all really nice. They tried to help with every question and issue thrown at them, even at the end of long shifts they were full of life. In the mornings they would be playing music and on this particular morning they were dancing some salsa.
Many who walked around the village would of remembered the guy with the mustache, cigar and big hat. Well I plucked up the courage to approach him and ask to take his photo. I later found out this guy was called Jose Luis Rios, known as “bigos” and he has been to every Paralympic Games since Seoul 1988 with the Mexian squad. He didn’t speak any English but was really friendly, he gave my camera to games maker to take this photo.
After one of my late games I took a walk through the village and the park there was loads of atmosphere. The Globe was within the village for the athletes and in the park there were bands playing.
Mandeville was the Paralympic mascot for London 2012 and I wouldn’t usually get excited about a soft toy but when I came across this Mandeville in one of the merchandise stores I did. It was the same height as myself, I thought it was cool.
On the final day of competition these were some of my lasting memories. Some of the Canadian ladies team went all out with their attire before cheering on the men to Gold. The lady in the other picture is part of my Wheelchair basketball family and is from Belgium. She came over to volunteer and made me aware that people from all over the world will volunteer because of their love of the Paralymic games.
Finally when I took my belongings to UPS to send them home, yes there was no way I could carry all my uniform. Myself and my roommate went to the postoffice. I decided to send myself a postcard, partly to cheer myself up when I was at home and have a written record of my time in the village.
As the postcard says It’s been amazing.
I think I got quite emotional when writing the first part of this blog and didn’t think one year on so many emotions would be evoked.
At this time of the year teams from all over Great Britain are confirming their fixture lists, officials are revising for rules tests and getting in shape for the season ahead.
This Wednesday one year ago the opening ceremony for the Paralympic Games was held. I still feel very blessed to actually attend such an amazing event.
I still use my case to take my lunch to work sometimes. I thought the contents were quite posh, but were a twist on english classics.
When we got into the stadium there was so much going on without any athletes or presentations. Here are some more of my photos.
More photos can looked at on Pinterest.
Here are some facts about the opening ceremony:
- Great Britain’s first ever Paralympic gold medalist Margaret Maughan lit the Paralympic Cauldron.
- The Ceremony took the form of a play, based around William Shakespere’s The Tempest.
The public holiday at the end of August in the UK will always mark the start of my time at the Paralympics. All equipped with my accreditation, camera and case off I went. Usually on the public holiday I go to the Notting Hill Carnival but this time I met one of the ITO’s at St Pancras International and we got on a bullet train to Stratford International.
I had to stop writing this entry as I have been thinking about what to write on this anniversary for some time and went back to read my previous blog entries. I haven’t been sure I was any good at this blogging stuff but people have reading them and I thank you all.
I had ideas to type loads of things that happened last year but I think I will save some facts and figures for another entry and leave you with some photos from the first few days of my time at the Paralympics.
More words and photos to follow.
I would like to say time flies when you’re having fun and I have, hehe! One year today I went off to Olympic Park to watch Synchronized swimming. I honestly don’t know what my thinking behind applying for the ticket was but out of everything I did applied for I was lucky in the first round ballot.
Fast forward 51 weeks and I was back at Olympic Park for the Anniversary Games Paralympic athletics. Again I was lucky and got a great seat along with some colleagues from my day job. I was really excited to go back but there was a tinge of sadness as the Basketball arena has already been dismantled. Being realistic I know things don’t always stay the same but do they do things change for the better? I was reading an article from Hoopfix, Sam is all about basketball. His article I think was thought provoking and an interesting read. It does relate to the running game but with a year on is it the same for wheelchair game?
I tried to find the same participation figures from Sport England who provide large amounts of funding for sport in the UK but Wheelchair Basketball is not measured in the same way. It is measured by the the individual memberships. There are so many ways to measure increases in participation within sport you can easily get overwhelmed but winning games is still a high priority for fans to expect from teams. GB men did this earlier in July by winning the European championships held in Germany. The GB women won bronze at the same event with a young developing team.
There were more changes at the park such the wings on the aquatics centre have been removed
And most of the park looks like a building site.
Another venue on the park the Copperbox will be hosting some Wheelchair Basketball and an international running game on the 11th August 2013.
I have watched the Olympics and Paralympics for many years and never thought I would really get the opportunity to watch an Olympic event in person but I did. More so did I ever think I would be involved as an official at the Paralympics. I will be blogging about those anniversary experiences in the coming weeks.
There was equipment everywhere, measuring the wind, distances and timing races. Within the the game of basketball there is a fair amount of technology and some of that gave me the chance to follow the games through stats at the wheelchair European Championships in Germany.
Whilst at the test event in London nearly 2 years ago I came across precision timing for the first time, personally it kinda of blew my mind and made think as a timekeeper what am I really doing? It also made me think about the relationship between the table officials and the floor officials, then whilst at the Paralympics I was reminded it wasn’t called precision timing for nothing. The guys who controlled the timing equipment recorded all sorts of things and could even tell who blew their whistle softly.
Then I read an article about the referee cam being introduced to the WNBA and watched this video.
As both a spectator and official I thought how would the referee cam work within the wheelchair game, seeing it is head mounted?
There are so many elements of technology, not forgetting software for calculating the player points. Now as the title says this is about discussion so let’s talk.
- Does precision timing help or hinder the game?
- Do we need still need the timekeeper with precision timing or can the other timekeeping duties be given to the scorer and assistant scorer?
- With regarding the referee cam do you think it will be used in the wheelchair game and will it affect the positioning of the officials?
- Finally, how do we educate officials to embrace technology within the game?
If you want to post or comment to this discussion privately, send me a message via Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin and I will post on your behalf.
Live Streaming America’s Cup Draw
Join us for the live streaming of the draw for the 6th America’s Cup Wheelchair Basketball in Bogota, Colombia on July 9th at 10:00 am.
The 2013 European Championships in Frankfurt ended with some exciting down to the wire final games.
In the Women’s final game the Netherlands defeated the 2012 Paralympic champion Team Germany by 1 point winning 57-56
In the Final Men’s game Great Britain pulled out the victory over Turkey by two points, 59-57 to repeat as European Champions.
Final Ranking Women
3 GREAT BRITAIN
The top 4 teams head to the 2014 World Championships in Toronto, Canada
Final Ranking Men
1 GREAT BRITAIN
The top 7 teams head to the 2014 World Championships in Incheon, Korea
For game photos head over to Facebook and we will post links to the photos.
Wow, more great games of Basketball today and yesterday at this lovely new venue in Worcester, UK. I have officiated Germany Vs Canada. I haven’t seen Canada play without Patrick Anderson, so I was interested to see what they are like. Germany are playing hard so far and giving everyone a run for their money and the European Championships looks like it will be an awesome tournament.
The City of Worcester is a pretty place and the University have been forging a rich basis of Basketball for many years and to now have this new venue as part of their next step. The professional team the Worcester Wolves will play at the new University Arena next season and some of their players have been volunteering at the tournament.
I have been trying to take some pictures and am still learning about taking good action shots of Basketball but not quite there yet. Here is a selection of some of my pictures from my view of the tournament.
There are two more games today and here is a round up from yesterday http://www.gbwba.org.uk/gbwba/index.cfm/news/standard-life-continental-clash-day-2/
There has been video shot that be viewed on .