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The Courage to Have a Go

Celebrating amazing athletes

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider how sport can change the life of disabled athletes.

Preparation and materials


  1. When the Olympic Games were held in the UK in 2012, the Paralympic Games were a huge success. Disabled athletes competed in front of huge crowds and amazing sportsmen and women from around the world were honoured for their achievements. More recently, Prince Harry has instigated the Invictus Games, where wounded and injured armed services personnel take part in a wide variety of sports events.

  2. Some of these disabled athletes will at some time have been identified as having a special talent. Some will have had to change direction in their lives due to the injuries that they received. They will all have undergone extensive training and worked exceptionally hard to get to the standard they are at today. Most of these athletes have overcome huge barriers, both physical and mental, to compete in these competitions.

  3. However, only a few of the large number of disabled athletes will be good enough to compete in international competitions. Many athletes simply enjoy sport. The next video shows just one of many charities that are working with top disabled athletes and those who simply want to be able to enjoy sport.

    Show the YouTube video ‘Tracy Kiss Visits WheelPower Time to Shine’.

  4. Charities like WheelPower work hard to open up sport to everybody. But what if you can’t move at all without help and are dependent on other people for almost everything in your life? Is it still possible to take part in a sport?

  5. In 1962, a boy called Rick Hoyt was born. It was soon clear that, due to problems at birth, Rick would never be able to move or speak. However, Rick’s parents noticed that his eyes followed them around the room. This gave them hope. They began to see that he could understand most things. When he was 11, he was fitted with a computer and was able to communicate. This confirmed the fact that Rick was intelligent.

    In 1977, when Rick was 15, he asked his dad to push him in his wheelchair in a five-mile race to raise money to help a lacrosse player who had been paralysed. Rick’s dad was not very fit, so he said he would walk the course as fast as he could. Rick and his dad came second to last.

  6. At the end of the race, Rick said, ‘Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not disabled.’ At that point, his dad decided that it was wrong that his son should be deprived of the opportunity to take part in races and sports events. Together, they began to train and they have now taken part in well over a thousand races, including marathons and triathlons.

    Show the YouTube video ‘Run! Dick and Rick Hoyt Theme Song’.

  7. Rick and his family are a great inspiration. They show us how sport can be enjoyed by everyone. Sport is not about winning and being the best. It is about enjoyment, health and taking part.

    Rick and his family have a strong faith in God. They believe that God has an amazing plan for everyone’s life.

Time for reflection

Do we sometimes find things difficult?

Do we give up or do we keep on trying?

Think about the courage of Rick Hoyt and his family. Let it inspire us to keep trying, no matter what difficulties we face.

How do we see sport?

Does a competitive spirit spoil our enjoyment, and even stop us taking part?

Let’s use the example of Rick and his father to inspire us to enjoy sport, even if we never win!

Dear God,
Thank you for sport and the enjoyment that it gives so many of us.
Help us to value the fun, friendship and pleasure of sport above the value of winning.
Help us to be fair, enthusiastic and good team players.
Thank you for people who inspire us.
Help us to become people who inspire others to do well
And achieve their full potential.


‘The Climb’ by Miley Cyrus, available at: (3.48 minutes long)

Publication date: June 2018   (Vol.20 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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