Gioele in the water with his mates.
In Castelnuovo ne’ Monti, on the Apennines in the province of Reggio Emilia, there is the Onda della Pietra, a welcoming facility of excellence, one of the first to believe in All Inclusive Sport supported by the Fondazione Milan.
Here, 4 years ago, began the story as a swimmer of Gioele, a lively, cheerful and courageous 7-year-old boy who has Treacher Collins syndrome and faces the small challenges of every day with positivity: moving in the water (an environment he loves) with a tracheostomy is certainly one of them.
His mother Paola tells us: “Swimming was a great desire of his, it was his choice, which we chose to support despite the initial fear. That’s why we needed a tutor: because learning to manage the tracheo in the water is something that takes time and caution, and the goals to be achieved must be calibrated accordingly. On Laura, Gioele knows he can always count on: she constantly supports him with a smile and gives him the autonomy to grow in a sport that he loves and in which he improves day by day”.
What fruits is this experience bearing?
“Naturally for Gioele, the joy of doing something he loves, in a group with other children his age, in a welcoming microcosm that makes everyone feel at home. Then, getting used to not focusing on limits but on how to overcome them. And I think this experience is also teaching my classmates a small, important lesson, namely that in life, the attitude with which you approach things counts”.
A good group, then?
“We are at home here now, even outside the course times. The children do not put on the brakes of adults, I have never seen them discriminate: when they are curious about the aids Gioele uses, they ask him questions and he explains how they work. Everyone talks with great serenity about themselves and their peculiarities, always with a smile and with great naturalness‘.
Empathy is a quality that is cultivated from an early age.
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