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Balancing Act-ion Packed Adventure

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Our ability to balance comes from inside our ear. Specifically, it is called the vestibular system (the organ of balance), which is made up of three fluid filled sacks. At the end of these sacks are very small hairs, and as the head moves, the hairs are pulled from side to side, which sends signals to the brain telling us which way our head is tilted. Sounds like stuff of magical fairies, but it keeps us upright each and every day.
Participants from Nightingale’s Ward have been putting their vestibular system to good use today in the Balancing Act zone. Gemma and Emma are from 7th New Malden, and when I caught up with them about the activity they told me they “like each other too much to try and knock each other off” although Emma did add that “Gemma kept putting her foot down which made it difficult for me to win!”
Lewis and Freddie from 1st Ockendon tried slack lining for the first time, right here at EIJ 2016. Lewis helped Freddie while they were learning by holding his shoulder as he walked along. Although Freddie “had good balance”, he found slack lining a challenge because “it wobbles”. “The straps are proper tight” Freddie tells me, “which means the line doesn’t dip much as we don’t weigh much so it was harder to get stability”. I’m pleased to announce that Lewis and Freddie both reached the other side of the line without falling off by the time they left the base!
Callum, Ewan and Finn said The Sweeper was “really fun because it goes at very high speed so we fell over hilariously”. The trio, from South Belfast District, had never been on a Sweeper as fast as that one. They told me it was “much more fun than other Sweepers because it is way quicker and two arms!”
This zone is definitely one to test the vestibular system to the limits.
James Traynor