Five students from the Knights EAC drove ten hours with Hilde to take part in Ridderdagene in the South-East part of Norway – and had a fantastic time there over the weekend of 18th to 21st August.
Ridderdagene (The Days of the Knights) is a weekend where many volunteers do all they can to make summer sports and activities accessible and inclusive for people with various kinds of disabilities. Every year since Ridderdagene took place for the first time in 2013, the College has sent a delegation of students and staff to volunteer and take part in the event. It was very nice to meet people who remember UWC RCN students from previous years and from the big winter sport event – Ridderrennet.
Anyone can take part in the Saturday bicycle races, where you set your own targets: to make it until the finish line; beat your own personal record; or, if you are more ambitious, try to keep up with laureates from the Paralympics. Mean and Sreythai, both Cambodian students in the Survivors of Conflict programme, represented UWC RCN brilliantly by biking respectively 40 and 5 kilometres with the times 1 hour 46 minutes (40 km) and 16,5 minutes (5 km).
Apart from the bicycle race, there are lots of other activities for children, youth and adults – like horseback riding, yoga, an obstacle course, sailing, canoeing, painting classes for children or a walk through the sense garden which is especially designed to give blind people an interesting experience.
We lived with the scouts and some other participants in a tent camp on Erling Stordahl’s farm and got to know participants and volunteers through participation in activities and by sharing meals around the outdoor dining table that the scouts had made. Erling Stordahl wanted to use sports and culture as arenas where people with different kinds of disabilities can meet and integrate. According to Stordahl, we are all disabled, somehow, and we just need to find our own ways to take part in things. This year the cultural part of Ridderdagene was mainly opera and classical music performed in a very inviting, child friendly and funny way, and our very own Mai charmed everybody with a beautiful song about Vietnam.