I knew my baby has Down syndrome when I was four months pregnant in 1995. Nadhrah was born two month premature by C-section and stayed two months in the ICU. Her birth weight was only 1.7kg. She looked tiny when discharged and weighed only 2kg by then. I lived day by day with her. Her little achievement was a big joy to me.
Nadhrah has been taking swimming lessons since she was a child with various organisations. She also took private lessons. Through the years, she’s become most comfortable with the breaststroke. But by being a part of Special Olympics and training with coach JC since 2015, not only has she perfected the breaststroke, she’s gained the confidence to venture out of her comfort zone to try other styles as well. She can now swim the freestyle and has even tried the butterfly stroke. Coach JC is very patient and has a good rapport with Nadhrah.
As parents, we must play an active part in encouraging our children and help in their development outside of sports training as well. The responsibility does not lie entirely with the coach. We all have a part to play. In the early years, I spent many hours at home personally demonstrating the swim strokes to Nadhrah to help her fully understand what she had learnt during swim class. It takes a village and parents have to work in tandem with coaches to bring out the best in our children.
About Special Olympics Asia Pacific
In the Asia Pacific region, Special Olympics has touched the lives of almost 2.3 million athletes across 35 countries. That includes 1.9 million athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID) and more than 339,000 Unified partners (teammates without ID). The Asia Pacific Region has the support of 180,000 coaches and 306,000 registered family members. As a global movement, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year.