EWoS Event elements – Experience.
What is it?
- During the Experience element, people of all abilities have the opportunity to try out disability-sports or para-sports. They can experience first-hand the enjoyment and excitement of performing the sport, together with the skills and athleticism needed.
- This EWoS element refers to both experience a specific sport, whatever ability the person has, and to experience a specific “disability” in a non-sport-specific setting.
Why do it?
- Make everybody aware of the ability of persons with a disability whether it is in sports or daily life.
- Let persons with a disability experience what sports they can do and which ones they like best.
- Allow for low-cost entry into a (new) disability-sport or para-sport.
- Facilitate athletes with a disability to receive high quality guidance from experienced coaches.
How to do it?
- Try-out Stations and Tester Sessions where everybody can try out the sports.
- Try-out Stations with activities of daily living.
- Build a stand where people can try out e.g. Wheelchair basketball; teach participants one or two basic skills needed to play the sport; e.g. the basics of wheelchair control and the basics of shooting in.
- Organize a course where people can experience walking blindfolded with a stick; Organize obstacle races in wheel-chairs; Provide a stand where people can inform themselves about living with guide-dogs.
- All sports offered need to be accessible for everybody.
- Bring a variety of sports but make sure to include sports that are really offered at the local level. Arrange contact with the local clubs for follow-up activities (see section Activate).
- Bring enough equipment (gear). Bring athletes to play with the participants.
- Provide pictures with short descriptions of the sport or activity at each stand; if possible install a video wall.
- Provide experienced coaches or instructors to allow for successful experiences; make sure that they are able to connect to the people’s needs. If not possible train well the volunteers.
- Provide (additional) station volunteers who will inform people and attract attendees to try the sport. Animate and encourage those who are a little shy!
- Implement a system to motivate people to participate in the try-outs; e.g. let them collect stickers into a passbook to receive rewards or prizes.
Specific notes for para-sports
Include Paralympians who guide and run the activities to show directly the skills needed to be a Paralympian. This promotes identification with Paralympic sports. Include specifically para-sports where you need talent; however make sure that the sports experienced are really offered in the community you run the EWoS Event. Possibly, already arrange a follow-up workshop with the local clubs.