Shapeshifters NCBI | Meet Our Neighbour
Peadar has been training hard with the Iona Resource Centre for the past few weeks for something very special (and physically intensive!) coming up in May. Shapeshifters NCBI supports people with a visual impairment to reach their full potential while having a lot of fun along the way. I spoke to James Flanagan from the NCBI to learn more about our Drumcondra neighbours and just what Peadar has been up to in his role as ‘Team Captain’…
James, can you tell us a little bit about NCBI and what you do?
Iona Resource Centre is a specialised service for people with a visual impairment. We provide a specialised individual programme forming either a Recreation and Therapy Pathway; Learning for Life Pathway or Skills Advance Pathway. Service User’s have a personalised individual plan that is tailored to meet this specific need. We have over 100 service users attending the centre from all over the Dublin area while the centre itself is based in Drumcondra.
How did shapeshifters come about and what is your goal?
Shapeshifters was created by myself this year for a number of reasons. Firstly, I wanted to really give our service users a challenge both mentally and physically that would allow them to step out of their comfort zones and realise how capable they are of completing an event like this. I wanted this event to benefit the centre as a whole and make all our service users aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and the opportunities that physical fitness can provide! A main key objective of this event was to raise awareness of our centre in our local community. To have three local business’ come on board as sponsors was extremely important we cannot thank you enough for this. To have local sponsors from our community is vital for us to integrate fully into our community here. And I hope through making this event sustainable for future years to come allows us to continue to make links in our local community while promoting health & wellbeing and make shapeshifters a bigger event for the future!
Tell us about the teams and training. How is everyone getting along?
There are three teams of six, five members of the team are from our centre with the final member for the team being their team captain, sponsor and all round go to person. I don’t want to give away to much as I will get in trouble from the guys! But each team is doing fantastic. We have participants who have to get to know each other very quickly, some service users have never met each other before and now they are training weekly together which is really nice to see. The captains have done exceptionally so far, they have been thrown into the deep end straight away with training and have just got on with it, the way they are adapting to every persons need is very impressive. The training itself is tough. There is a lot of endurance training so far as we are trying to get each participant at a comfortable level of running quiet quickly.
A lot of our service users if not all would never be in the position to have ran before due to their vision impairment so this is all a new experience for them.
There is four key elements of training that I felt were the key aspects of life for a person with a vision impairment would benefit from.These are strength, endurance, agility and balance. These will all be tested over the 8 weeks training that is taking part in KKC Kickboxing club in Cabra.
What can we expect in Parnell’s on the 24th of May?
A showcase of our wonderful participants displaying their skills to their best of their ability which is not to be missed! Our finals day is sure to be fantastic. It is the day finally our guys can show off their hard work to family and friends after all the hard weeks of slogging! There are four events that one service user from each team will compete it. These are based around the four key aspects of training that I had mentioned above, strength, endurance, agility & balance. But that is not all! We have a grueling assault course that each team as a whole will have to complete in a time trial! This is where the team as a whole have to work together to complete and each captain will be acting as their guide! Each event will be scored on and the team with the best score at the end is the winner of the very first Shapeshifters! The final is on in Parnell’s GAA club on Friday the 24th of May and its kicking off at 11am. This is not to be missed!