Meeting on Monday 3 February 2014
An object of this meeting was to link up with the Rotary Club of Leeds, which meets regularly at lunchtimes, to swell our ranks and give them the alternative experience of an evening club. In the event, we were very pleased to welcome visiting Rotarians from two other clubs as well: Birstall Luddites and Barnsley Rockley. We were also pleased to welcome our Assistant Governor Andrew Wilson from Aireborough.
The main event was a presentation by Stephen Woodcock, President of Barnsley Rockley, to tell us about the Rotary District 1270 Disability Games. This will take place this year on Sunday 30 March 2014 at Barnsley Metrodome Leisure Centre and is hosted by Barnsley Rockley Rotary Club.
Stephen told us an inspiring story. District 1270 [which takes in South Yorkshire, the East Riding and Lincolnshire] has been running the Disability Games every year since 1990, with twenty clubs and 100 Rotarians directly involved. It sprang from Rotarian support for a sports club for the disabled run every Thursday night at the Metrodome in Barnsley. Clubs have donated a minibus, and various items of equipment including the kit for a wheelchair basket ball team. They have built up huge experience in running the event.
The games have been a great success. Some have gone on to become Olympians, such as Karen Darke, the 2012 Paralympic silver medalist, and member of British Cycling GB squad, and Sue Gilroy, a table tennis star who competed in her fourth Paralympic Games in London last year. Both athletes attended the District event in 2013 and inspired the 380 competitors.
The games cost about £12,000 to run, [including venue hire, t-shirts, medals and fish and chips for every competitor] and getting sponsorship has been a challenge successfully met.
Our own John Richardson spoke of the feelings of pride and self worth that participation in disability games engenders. He claims to have a drawer full of medals achieved by competing against people more disabled than himself. Mike Fox gave the vote of thanks.
Bryan Atkinson gave us some news of our sponsorship of the Sylvia Wright Trust, which made the front page of The Yorkshire Times and said
Rotary Brings New World To Deaf Children
The Rotary Club of Roundhay (Leeds) is the driving force behind an innovative project in a very poor part of South India. Working with the Sylvia Wright Trust, also based in Leeds, they have funded a new IT room in Sylvia Wright’s school for 210 profoundly deaf children in Tamil Nadu. Bryan told us that the Rotary Foundation has commented the scope and impact of the project is inspiring and admirable.