Children’s laughter can be heard at the Olympic Pool Otoka in Sarajevo where children with disabilities are socializing and preparing for their first club competition in the healthiest sport – swimming.
Besides children with disabilities and difficulties, autistic children and those with Down syndrome are swimming as well. They are all part of the swimming club “Spid”, which is the first and only club in BiH intended for persons with disabilities.
Nine months ago, swimming coach and master of the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education Amel Kapo noticed that people with disabilities come to the Olympic pool, but no one pays attention to them.
He decided to establish the club in March this year for all persons with disabilities from five years old onwards, which today are practicing and training free of charge. Since rare institutions supported this project, the cost of the lease of the term at the pool are co-funded by several companies.
“From March to now, we have a total of 45 members from all over BiH: Sarajevo, Kladanj, Visoko, Zenica, East Sarajevo… This is necessary at the national level, not only at the cantonal level. Our main goal is rehabilitation, re-socialization and inclusion of people with disabilities, to include them in all spheres of our society, without prejudice. There are also typical children, and the goal is to learn the basics of swimming and work together,” said Kapo.
He claims that many children who were unable to move until yesterday, with swimming as a sport that increases endurance and strengthens muscles, are now independently enjoying in the water.
Under the motto “We are all equal in the water “, they are training three times a week.
“I really like to swim, because I’m not afraid of water, I have great time on training, we make super jumps. I have good friends here, I come to every practice. I am preparing for the competition, and I want to compete and to deal with swimming when I grow up,” says eight-year-old Borna Vasic from East Sarajevo.