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Why We Need To Change The Way We Treat The Paralympics 

20/03/2018

You could be forgiven for not even knowing the Paralympic Games have been held this month. Unlike the Olympics (which received full coverage on the BBCs channels) the Paralympics were shunted off to Channel 4 and we only received the “highlights” from it.

Now I don’t know about you, but that really pisses me off!

When I was a kid in primary school, we were asked for homework to fill in a sheet about someone who inspired us and why. The rest of the kids in the class picked someone like David Beckham or Britney Spears.

Me? I picked Tanni Grey-Thompson.

She was a huge inspiration to me when I was going through a pretty rough time. I’d recently been diagnosed with severe asthma and it was really taking its toll on me. I’d always loved sports, particularly rugby and hockey, but because of the asthma I was really struggling to play them.

Why We Need To Change The Way We Treat The Paralympics 

I was distraught and honestly thought I’d never be able to play again, as even just short games were causing me to have pretty bad attacks. But then one day I saw Baroness Grey-Thompson racing on tv and I realised that I didn’t need to stop playing because of it.

Sure I couldn’t run up and down the pitch getting in the heart of the action (and trouble) like I used to, but that didn’t have to stop me playing.

I just needed to adapt my playing style!

Instead of running around trying to do as much as possible, I decided to start playing in defence; and it turned out I was actually really good at it! Because I was staying in one little area in front of the goal, I didn’t need to do much running, which meant I wasn’t having attacks while playing.

But if it hadn’t been for seeing her on tv, I might have decided that I couldn’t play anymore and just given up trying.

Which is why I’m sick of things like the Paralympics not getting the coverage they deserve.

We live in a society that plays lip service to equality, but very rarely seems to deliver it; with this being a prime example.

If we don’t give the Paralympics and other Para Athletic events equal coverage, how are we meant to inspire the next generation of disabled athletes? To show people who might otherwise give up, that they can achieve their dreams and do the things they love?

One of my favourite quotes is from the late Stephen Hawking (who sadly passed away just after I wrote this post) when he said:

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

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14 responses to “Why We Need To Change The Way We Treat The Paralympics ”

  1. My housemate and I were both so disappointed by the lack of Paralympics coverage. We got so into the Olympics (neither of us a “sport people”) and were really looking forward to continuing our new-found enthusiasm with the Paralympics. Until we found out that it was barely on…

    Such a shame the event doesn’t receive the funding, support or hype that the Olympics does.

  2. Jade Marie says:

    I’m glad it’s not just me that’s disappointed by it! Honestly it’s so upsetting to think that these amazing people train so much, just to get largely ignored by people 😔

  3. Samantha says:

    That’s awesome! A daughter’s friend is competing in games this year and she is so inspiring. She’s not only special needs, but also a cancer survivor. Great post!

  4. Jade Marie says:

    Oh wow that’s fantastic! Best of luck to her! 🙂

  5. Gee Gardner says:

    I agree with you completely here! This world has a long way to go when it comes to dropping ableist ways and treating things like this equally. X

  6. Jade Marie says:

    I honestly doubt it’ll happen in our lifetime 😔 x

  7. Brilliant post and I completely agree, people that carry on following their dreams despite having so much thrown at them are the true heroes. I love that someone unconventional inspired you and we definitely need to be seeing and hearing a lot more about these people in the media! It’s fabulous and brave that you adapted a situation to suit your needs too instead of giving up, good on you!
    Alice Xx
    http://www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

  8. Soffy S says:

    I have actually always found the Paralympics more interesting and motivational than the Olympics and it disheartens me that it’s not given much coverage at all.

    Soffy // themumaffairs.blogspot.com

  9. I wholeheartedly agree with everything in this post. I have close family members who have disabilities and the fact that the para events are barely given any coverage is disgusting . In my mind those athletes are much more inspiring as they have had to overcome so much to compete. I wish for a day where equality actually means equality .

    Melanie | http://www.frasersfunhouse.com

  10. Bexa says:

    The Para Olympics are incredibly inspiring and shows that anyone can achieve their dreams no matter their situation. I 100% agree there should be more television coverage! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jade 😘 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  11. Jade Marie says:

    We really do need to see more of it in the media! And thank you hun 😊 I wish I still played tbf but I don’t have the time or money to play hockey anymore 😔 xx

  12. Jade Marie says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one!

  13. Jade Marie says:

    It really is disgusting, I’ve always seen them as much more inspirational than “regular” athletes! I honestly doubt we’ll get equality in our lifetime, not with this government and culture 😔

  14. Jade Marie says:

    It’s a message we definitely need to hear more often! Thanks Bexa 😘 xx

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HI THERE!

Thanks for stopping by! I’m a twenty-five-year-old digital media graduate with a passion for writing and a desire to change the way we view mental health and autism. I’ve owned jademarie.co.uk for nearly two years now, and its slowly changed from a place where I would brain dump whatever was going through my head that day, into a place where people can come for help, advice and hopefully a bit of a laugh. I do occasionally come out with a witty sentence or two. Mostly by accident.

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