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WAKO PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

November 21, 2016

Every person, regardless of age, ability, economic advantage or any other criteria which make us different, has the right to participate in sport. Physical activity is the key to each individual’s physical and mental well-being. All young people has to have a sporting chance and to take part in physical activities no matter of their ability or disability.

The sport has the power to develop young people’s potentials, helping them to be healthy and happy and to be a part of common society. To contribute and to succeed. To equip them with competence and to prepare them for the challenges of life ahead. To support young people to develop positive character qualities : creativity, aspiration, resilience and empathy. Moreover, for the children with disabilities, to support them and learn to have self-confidence.

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During the WAKO European Championships in Maribor in October 2016, part of the program on the Opening ceremony was kickboxing demonstration of disabled children.

During that performance, where five boys of 15-18 came into the ring and did a little kickboxing,one couldn’t find an eye without tears in the audience. So touching performance showed to all of us that every person has the right to do sport.

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That was a great opportunity for hosting country Slovenia and main organizer, 5x WAKO European and 5x WAKO World Champion, Tomaž Barada, to present the activities they have in Barada Sports Center in Maribor concerning disabled kids. With specially educated trainers, these kids come every day to the gym for free and train kickboxing. They learn the basic kicks and punches and have a controlled sparring, which they enjoy the most. In Barada Center, they evaluated special program approved by the highest profession authorities to train such kids.

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Moreover, during the Championships Tomaz Barada run the auction sale of the most valuable trophies and pieces of sports equipment he has in his sports career. He planned to raise funds for charity programs concerning Slovenian athletes from less privileged backgrounds. Luckily, he sold his professional title belt to a big company in Slovenia. His big heart proved that the most precious things in the world are not material. This is what he said when he handed over his belt: “If this money brings a smile on the children’s faces in my Sports Center, I will be a lucky man”.

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