An obstacle course race on sports day had schoolchildren ready to show their mettle, none more so than mixed-abilities student Elsie Tanti Cascun.
Having spent most of her life relying on crutches to move, Elsie first reacted to the announcement rather dubiously. “Will I be able to take part?” she asked.
Faced with the challenge before her, the obstacle race featured everything you can possibly imagine. From army crawls, to rope climbs, to jumping over hurdles.
Lovin Malta sat down with Elsie’s mum, Fiorita, who was both surprised and ecstatic to wake up one morning to find her daughter looking at her and asking: “Is it ok with you if I go for it?”
“Her motivation to finish the race came from a massive urge to prove herself wrong. To squash her own doubt,” Fiorita said.
Race day came, and so did Elsie, who literally steamrolled through every challenge on the course under the supervision of her P.E. teacher.
She crossed the finish line to a resounding chorus of applause from her teammates, who cheered her on.
“I was over the moon. Seeing her so happy just meant the world to me,” Fiorita said. “I’ll never forget her words the moment she finished. She simply said ‘see mum? I can do anything.'”
Her participation in the event was made possible through a pilot project in which Elsie’s School – St Monica – is actively participating.
The project – ‘I’mPOSSIBLE’ – is a collaboration with the Malta Paralympic Committee focused on teaching children about the values of equality.
Through this platform, children are allowed to understand that even if different persons have different abilities, it does not mean that they couldn’t work together.
The school’s P.E. teacher embodied this principle, insisting and supporting Elsie in her challenge. And following his achievement, he couldn’t hide his pride.
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