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Young people with Down Syndrome included in medals ceremonies

Young people with Down Syndrome included in medals ceremonies 23.5.2024

In addition to the best athletes at the 2024 ECA I Feel Slovenia Canoe Slalom European Championship in Tacen, there were some young people who took part in the awarding of medals also beaming with pride. Although they have Down syndrome, they independently walked to the podium and performed the task entrusted to them flawlessly.

Six young people came to the venue of the European Championships in Tacen in the organisation of the Down Syndrome Association of Slovenia, whose representative Ana Svetičič told us that they also brought gifts for the medal recipients.
"They made plates from clay themselves and decorated them, they will be awarded to the best athletes together with medals," she said before the end of the competitions. Members of the association also participated in the medals ceremony on Sunday, the last day of the championships.
It is very important for a person diagnosed with Down syndrome to participate in such an event. "This is proof of what our young people can do. That there is no stigma that children with Down syndrome cannot do something. They can do a lot if they have the right support," she emphasized.
Some members of the association had already participated in other events. In order that everything went really smoothly before the official awarding of the medals, they prepared a probe. "We didn't have any special preparations, but I explained to them the basic rules - that we should all be quiet, that we should follow each other, that we should stand still," Ana Svetičič said.
No one was persuaded to participate, they did so on their own will. But the decision was certainly not difficult. Last but not least, many of them are involved in sports themselves, they watch sports competitions on TV, and they are also familiar with canoeing.
According to her, the participation of someone with Down syndrome in such an event is also a test for parents. "Some parents, consciously or not, find it difficult to let their adult child out of their care," said Ana Svetičič. This time, special rules were set for them, namely they had to wait in the stands while their child went independently to the medal recipients.