PARAde festival celebrates disability arts and sports
Ahead of the world celebrating the 2012 Paralympics, Haringey played host to its own celebration of disability arts and sports.
Hundreds flocked to the PARAde Festival at Tottenham Green Leisure Centre on Sunday to see live street events and demonstrations of wheelchair basketball and martial arts, and to hear more about the huge range of activities for disabled residents throughout the borough.
The festival, part of the Mayor of London’s Showtime, saw visitors treated to dramatic open air performances and street gigs – from aerial dance and hip hop to poetry, freestyle rapping and physical theatre mixed with sign, dance and comedy.
While Showtime events brought the outside of the leisure centre to life, Haringey Council laid on free swimming for anyone with a disability, and also arranged demonstrations from the British Wheelchair Basketball Association; Brake Thru Cycling and Sanjuro Martial Arts.
Visitors were also able to find out more about taking part themselves from organisations including Disability Sports Coach UK, Cirque Nova, Age UK, England Athletics and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
The action packed day was capped off by the Mayor of Haringey, Cllr David Browne, marking the borough’s commitment to improving sport and physical activity for disabled residents with the adoption of the ‘Inclusive and Active 2’ strategy.
Cllr Browne said:
“It was inspiring to see so many disabled people from the borough showing exactly what can be achieved in sports and arts, and it was encouraging to see how many more were interested in getting involved in the future.“The Paralympics gets underway this week in London and the eyes of the world will once again be witnessing breathtaking feats of physical endurance and achievement. We want everyone in Haringey, whether they have a disability or not, to realise they can aspire to these heights too – they just need to make a start.”