Ottobock at the Paralympic Games.

Ottobock are giving schools the chance to receive an information pack on the Paralympic Games.  This pack includes details of how the runners carbon fibre running blades are made.

Building a running blade

Ottobock Healthcare, a partner of the Paralympic Games since 1988, has today announced a resource pack with engaging materials around the London 2012 Paralympic Games. With fewer than 200 days to go, pupils at primary and secondary schools across the UK have the opportunity to learn about the equipment used by Paralympic athletes to compete. The resource pack also contains facts, images and instructions of how to build a carbon fibre running blade and provides useful content for group activities.

What will school pupils gain from the pack?
The Paralympic Running Blade –  Intriguing information on the running blade including how it works, how it is made and how it differs from an everyday prosthesis
Build a Paralympic Running Blade – Pupils can bring the running blade to life with a papier-mâché kit and instructions on how to make a Paralympic running blade
Paralympic athletes – Meet Kelly Cartwright from Australia and Heinrich Popow from Germany, two competitors the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has deemed “Ones to Watch” at London 2012
Interesting facts and figures – With over 20 years’ experience spanning the globe as a Paralympic partner, pupils can share Ottobock’s knowledge of the Paralympic Games
Images – Access to images of how a Paralympic running blade is made and what it looks like in detail

Removing a carbon fibre spring from the mould

The resource pack will offer all pupils interesting insight into the Paralympic Games and how athletes compete with different disabilities. It will offer the younger pupils the opportunity to build a papier-mâché running blade using a mould, whilst offering the more mature pupils the possibility to debate important social issues surrounding accessibility and mobility inclusion.

“Ottobock is committed to helping people enjoy the Paralympic Games and we believe the resource pack will prove an invaluable tool to educate young audiences on the equipment used in a fun and engaging way,” said Philip Yates, Managing Director of Ottobock Healthcare in the UK. “As well as encouraging greater participation, we hope to transform the perception of disabled people in society and promote greater understanding of issues around accessibility and inclusion and their importance beyond the Paralympic Games.”

What is Ottobock’s role at the Paralympic Games?
Throughout the London 2012 Paralympic Games, a team of 80 Ottobock prosthetists, orthotists and wheelchair technicians known as The Technical Service Team will operate out of three repair centres in the Athletes’ Village on the Olympic Park, at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Village and at Egham Rowing and Canoe Sprint Village. It will also create and manage smaller repair centres around nine other competition venues, all supported by a mobile unit.  They will oversee as many as 2,000 repairs for athletes from 147 countries; co-ordinate 15,000 spare parts; and replace 2000 wheelchair tyres.

Ottobock has been providing technical services at the Paralympic Games since 1988. This was also the year that carbon-fibre running blades were first used in Paralympic sport, dramatically changing athletes’ performance and the intensity of the competition. At the New York 1984 Paralympic  Games, the gold medallist in the men’s T42 100m finished in 26.14 seconds; in the same race at the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games this was 15.77 seconds. To have a chance of winning today athletes must finish in less than 13 seconds. World champion and Ottobock ambassador, Heinrich Popow, won gold in 12.56 seconds at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships.

For more information on the teacher resource kit and to download the resource sheets, please visit the ‘Running Blades fit for a Paralympian’ section of the Ottobock website.

Fast Facts about Ottobock
1.     Ottobock has been a partner to the Paralympic Games since 1988. The London 2012 Paralympic Games will be Ottobock’s 13th.
2.     For the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Ottobock will provide an international support team. It is expected they will come from 18 countries and speak 14 languages.
3.     Since 1988, Ottobock has completed a total of almost 10,000 repairs for athletes during the Paralympic Games.
4.     At the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Ottobock technicians from 19 different countries worked more than 10,000 hours completing 2,188 repairs for athletes from 120 countries.
5.     The most repairs by Ottobock technicians in one day is 183.

Posted by Clare Kersey

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