Paralympic Games: Day 1

Goalball explained

After years of anticipation, and hot on the heels of Wednesday night's opening ceremony, the sporting action at the Paralympics finally gets under way today.

School Reporters - including a very special Paralympian! - have already been reporting on the Games and looking ahead to the event across a variety of sports, and this is where you can find out what they've been up to.

A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO GOALBALL

Image copyright School Report
Image caption Goalball needs razor-sharp reflexes and remarkable hearing

Goalball is sure to be one of the hits of the Games, with fans treated to a spectacle in which blindfolded players hurl the ball at speeds of up to 60mph, guided only by the sound the bell inside it makes!

Want to know more? Check out School Report's guide to the sport at the top of the page courtesy of David Knott - 15-year-old School Reporter from Thornden School and, as it happens, a member of the GB goalball squad!

David, who is joined in the squad by his older brother Adam, explains some of the key tactics and skills involved in his sport, and the physical and personal attributes required to make it to the top.

PARA-CYCLIST READY TO SHINE

Image copyright British Cycling
Image caption Rik Waddon has won medals at the Olympics and the world championships

Just as it was during the Olympics, the velodrome will be one of the centres of attention for sport fans, with the ParalympicsGB team hoping to continue where they left off in Beijing.

Rik Waddon took a silver in the C3 1K time trial and will be in action in the final of the event today, this time with his eye firmly fixed on gold.

School Reporters from Cardinal Langley School in Middleton interviewed Rik ahead of the Games and you can read their report here.

Pupils Joshua, Leah and John learned about the extreme sacrifices that Rik makes to ensure he is at peak fitness.

"You have to think about your diet, make sure you have recovery time between training sessions and try to stay one step ahead by thinking how the decisions you make will impact on your ability to stay at the top of your field," he said.

"There is no feeling like the one you get from pushing your body to the limit."

For all his dedication, Rik has already got a special treat in mind for when the Paralympics are over...

"I think I will treat myself to a burger or two," he admitted!

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