While many Paralympic sports are well known, some are yet to be discovered by the wider public. One of these sports, the club throw, will certainly be gaining new fans at a high school in Tokyo.
The Club Throw is an event for athletes with significant hand impairments and who compete seated. The sport requires them to throw a wooden club, resembling a bowling pin, that weighs a minimum of 397g and has a length of 350mm to 390mm. There are no rules governing throwing style; facing away from the target zone and throwing from behind is also acceptable.
Since there are no manufacturers of these clubs in Japan, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) announced that it has concluded an agreement with the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education for students at a public high school in Tokyo to create the wooden clubs that will be used in the Para athletics club throw events at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
As part of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic educational program, which aims to promote further understanding of Paralympic sports in schools across Japan, pupils at Tokyo Metropolitan Kogei High School will produce around 20 wooden clubs for the Paralympics in 2020. Students from the school, a technical facility focusing on the teaching of professional crafts and design, have previously produced wooden ramps used in the Paralympic sport of Boccia.
Tokyo 2020 Sports Director Koji Murofushi commented,
“We are pleased that students from a public high school in Tokyo will be producing competition equipment that will be used by para athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. I believe that this will be a valuable and unforgettable experience for the students and will undoubtedly inspire the athletes. I am really looking forward to seeing athletes using these clubs and perhaps reflecting on the efforts and dedication of the students who created them.”
For more details, please refer to the World Para Athletics Rules and Regulations 2018-2019 here. To get an idea of what the sport is like, check out the video below: