The Inclusion Revolution is happening. We see a revolution of positive change as more international schools are expanding their inclusive practices in a variety of ways. March happens to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st annually.
This year, something awesome happened on World Down Syndrome Day. Adidas and the Boston Marathon announced they will always hold a place for neurodivergent athletes in their events. Their website states, “When you see yourself represented in sport, you start to see possibilities. So we’re calling on every marathon to hold bib #321, a number representing trisomy 21 in the Down syndrome community, for a neurodivergent athlete to ensure their representation in mainstream sports. It’s time we saw a Runner 321 in every race. Will you join us?”
This week I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Nikic, an American triathlete. Chris was the first individual with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon and was the inspiration behind the above mentioned new initiative.
In addition, Chris started the 1% Better Campaign. All of us at SENIA would like to encourage you to join Chris. Chris’ idea is a simple one; “You get 1% better for 30-days, and you help someone do the same.”
Here’s what you do:
Set a goal for the next 30 days (run 2 miles, swim 20 laps, walk 5 km, etc.)
HELP someone with special needs do the same. (Make sure your goal aligns with their goal and that they want to participate).
Create a plan to improve a little each day.
Share your progress with SENIA and on social media to help raise awareness.
If you go through Chris’ website you can purchase 1% Better t-shirts as well as his book to help support his upcoming Ironman event in Hawaii.
Check out our podcast with Chris to learn more. As with all of our podcasts, a transcription of our discussion is available on our website.
During these particularly difficult times, having a short-term, 30-day goal may help us focus on something positive as well as improve our own physical and mental health. In the meantime, we’re all working toward a common goal; to be inclusive and to be more like Chris!
-Lori Boll, Executive Director
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