Alex's sporting chance

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Film for KS2 pupils about disabled schoolboy Alex, who has never heard of the Paralympic Games.

Find out about disabled schoolboy Alex, who has never heard of the Paralympic Games.

Meet Alex

Alex is a schoolboy from Mount Elgon, Kenya. He is disabled and uses a stick to help him get around.

When he was three years old he caught polio. He was left with a deformed left leg and has little use of his right hand.

Mount Elgon is an area with hills and mountains, so when it rains, Alex finds it hard to move around.

Polio

Polio used to be common in Kenya, but a vaccine for children and babies changed this and the country is polio-free. When Alex was born, the vaccine was not available in his village.

Alex says: "If I had been given the vaccine then I think my life would have been a different one - I would be somewhere, someplace working and acquiring my own needs".

Alex visits a health centre and even gets the chance to help out. The nurses show him how to mark the hands of the children who have received the vaccine.

He has a positive attitude towards his disability and he is happy that the Kenyan government have stamped out the disease.

The Paralympic Games?

Alex attends Bishop Okiring School. Some pupils here have excelled in sport - the school has produced world-class athletes.

But Alex and the pupils here have never heard of the Paralympic Games - just the Olympic Games.

Alex didn't even know that disabled people could play sport, even though Kenya has a medal-winning Paralympic team.

The London 2012 Paralympic Games is happening soon and a sports club in the UK have invited Alex and his head teacher to visit. It is an opportunity for him to find out more about sports for the disabled.

Sport in the UK

It is an exciting trip - Alex has never left Kenya before and he wastes no time exploring the city of London, seeing many famous sights.

Alex arrives at the sports centre and gets the chance to glimpse potential Paralympians. He's never seen so many young disabled people in one place, all doing activities that he never dreamt possible.

Playing sport

Alex meets 15-year-old Adam, who has cerebral palsy and restricted use of his legs. Just like Alex, he is still at school.

He also meets 22-year-old Aidan. He has spina bifida and is paralysed from the waist-down. He hopes to represent Great Britain at the 2016 Paralympics.

Both boys play wheelchair basketball and compete in wheelchair racing, winning many competitions.

They help Alex to steer a racing wheelchair. This is the first time Alex has been on a racing track.

Pushing the racing chair is hard work as he has little upper body strength. But he really enjoys playing wheelchair basketball with the boys.

Growing up with a disability

After the sports session, Alex has a chance to ask the boys what life is like growing up with a disability in the UK.

Adam admits he found growing up quite tough and pushing a wheelchair can be tiring - he often feels exhausted when he gets home from school.

Aidan admits that he was naughty at school. He surprised doctors when they predicted that he would not be able to walk or talk.

Adam says: "I get great pride out of sport. I get determination. I just feel that I belong in sport. Wheelchair racing was made for me because I get the adrenaline pumping, I get so excited when I'm racing, I'm just so focused, it's just amazing."

Both boys get a lot out of sport and train hard. Aidan trains six days a week, sometimes twice a day, hoping that he can represent Great Britain at the Paralympics in 2016.

Adam says: "Everything is just go, go, go, four years until 2016. It's all systems go".

Adam admits that there are barriers he must overcome if he was to have a girlfriend. But Alex assures him that having a disability shouldn't be a problem. In his eyes, disabled people are 'the super people'.

Meeting the boys and getting involved in sport has been an eye-opening experience for Alex. But before he heads back home to Kenya, he has a chance to watch the Paralympic Games.

Alex feels that this experience has motivated him and he will work hard to achieve his own dreams.

Schools World Service is a BBC British Council co-production

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