Make a SplashFebruary 17, 2015

The YMCA Swimathon is Australia's biggest event on March 1, where people with a disability will learn how to swim. It's a perfect campaign if one will look on it from both sides. The sea is just a ride away, if not the ubiquitous pools. We are a nation of outdoor lovers. So what else is there to know?

If you look at it, people with disability are more in need of making their limbs move. It can affect their well-being later in life. It's also important for them to be in the good mood. Exercising does that, and let's not forget that swimming can be a group activity. Nothing can be more enjoyable than that. But here are some things to know about this campaign:

Don't let that feeling of insecurity prevail. Expect people with disability to have that inferior mindset. They can be withdrawn because of it. They'll be uncomfortable in the presence of "normal" people. Make sure you won't make a big deal about it. This may hard to ignore once we get down and wet. Unless that person asks for help, just treat that disabled individual like anyone else. It will be a different case if it's a child with a disability. There will be more challenges, and your patience will be put to a test. Always make assurance. Try to keep a smiling face. It may be easier said than done, but efforts are always rewarded.

Remember your first-aid lessons. You didn't join this campaign to have a good time. You have a responsibility too. Don't ever think that there won't be incident(s) of drowning. Better be prepared for the worst. Never panic once you hear a cry for help. Be calm and never forget to keep that presence of mind. And have that sense of urgency. (You'll understand the importance of the last precaution with children.) If you'll be in the seaside, then warn them about sharks. (You'll never know.) If the coastline is littered with corals, then tell them about sea urchins. Never get tired of reminding them of not getting too near. (We'll never know what creatures are hiding there.)

Be friendly. Although this campaign raises the awareness on the plight of disabled people and what must be done to ameliorate their condition, it's important to keep in mind why you participate in such an event. You'll meet people. It doesn't matter if your an extrovert or an introvert, as there are individuals whom you might share some interests. There'll be people who have a soft spot for children, especially the ones with disability. Then there are those who want to do something for the community, without expecting anything in return. These are the kinds of people you want to hang out with. You'll learn from them. They'll make you a better person.

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