“Never ignore somebody with a disability - you don’t realize how much they can inspire you”
That is how I felt when I met a group of swimmers from the Down Syndrome Association in Hong Kong. Their smiling faces and kind demeanor hid the strong determination they held inside. Around 15 Downs swimmers gather twice a week wherever they can book space at a public pool. They love their coaches and are eager to please them by swimming faster and faster. Because of the small pool of participants, the Downs swimmers in Hong Kong do not have any competitions either to look forward to or to work for. The Down Syndrome International World (DSIO) competition therefore, is an opportunity for these swimmers to not only show their strength in the pool, but also to test their independence and self care skills, boost their confidence and expand their horizons.
Participant Tsang Chiu Hei, "It is my first time to join overseas competition and to leave my family. I am so happy that there is obvious enhancement of my self-confidence and self-care ability. I can do it!"
With sponsorship from the AWA, LRC and the Overseas Resource Foundation, six swimmers attended the DSIO event in Italy and proudly brought home 8 Gold, 10 Silver, 5 Bronze medals and the memories of a lifetime.