Bristol care home hosts first ‘Rio’ carnival as leading disability charity looks forward to Paralympics

10 August 2016

Ryan Raghoo with two staff membersBritish record-holding long jumper Ryan Raghoo visited the Cossham Gardens care home in Kingswood, Bristol last week to open the first of 10 nationwide carnivals to celebrate the upcoming Paralympic Games.

With the Olympic opening ceremony taking place the same day, disabled residents, family, friends and staff enjoyed a taste of Rio in north Bristol.

Residents at the much loved local home have complex neurological conditions and limited mobility due to a range of factors, with some being victims of assault and others living with the impact of stroke.

Specially adapted wheelchair basketball and discus throwing competitions were staged and enjoyed by all — with Brazilian music providing a fitting soundtrack.

Rising para-athletics star Ryan, who has cerebral palsy, spoke of the impact sport and massage can have on confidence, mobility and both physical and mental health.

Ryan said:

'Disabled people often have bad experiences with sport at a young age but there is so much to gain from it if the right opportunities are provided.'

Cossham Gardens physiotherapist Gabriella McCloskey, who co-organised the day, added:

'Sport is an important part of what we offer to residents here. It can help with preventing deterioration in posture and health and help to improve hand-eye co-ordination.

'More importantly the enjoyment residents get out of it — including events like today — is the best reward for all of us.'

Building on the success of its long-running programmes supporting participation in everything from tennis to boccia to snooker, Leonard Cheshire Disability is currently looking at which sports and activities to run more widely post-Paralympics.

Our ‘Cheshire Carnivals’ will be staged across Great Britain throughout August and September.

After Bristol, the Rio roadshows rolls into Bath, Cumbria, Gloucester, Inverness, Kent, London, Newport, Nottingham and Sutton Coldfield.

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