On 19 November 2018 we conducted the eleventh workshop with students from the fourth grade of “St. Paisii Hilendarski” Secondary School, Plovdiv, who were at a Forest School in the town of Bansko, Bulgaria. The participants were students with visual impairments, mobility impairments of the lower limbs and with internal disabilities, as well as students without disabilities.
At the beginning, Mrs. Grudeva reminded the participants the project’s goals and invited them to realize those goals in that swimming training.
The workshop was carried out with the help of a swimming coach and under Mrs. Grudeva’s vigilant monitoring in the pool of Panorama Hotel – Bansko.
The training began with a warm-up. The practical skills for swimming of all students were verified. Those who could not swim at first stayed out of the pool. The idea was that whenever they wanted to go in the pool, they should do it and start learning piece by piece – among them there was a disabled child. All the other students with disabilities began to practise the water sport. To our great surprise, the child with mobility impairment was extremely brave. At first he was holding the ladder and it took him about 5 minutes to relax and go inside the pool, of course together with the coach. He also joined the water ball game. The other disabled child on the first day stayed out of the big pool, finding strength just to go into the children’s pool together with the coach, but on the third day he was already in the big pool and constantly shouted joyfully and waved at Mrs. Grudeva. Everyone was feeling happy.
The workshops were 50 minutes long, but it seemed that time was not enough for the children. Everybody swam with great enthusiasm. We observed tolerance among the participants. We did not notice anyone being neglected.
At the final signal of the coach, there was a slight discontent that the training was over, but everyone was visibly pleased with what happened, which showed that the goals of the project were achieved.
The event was organized by Ms. Grudeva and Ms. Ikimova as the 11th workshop within the project to raise pupils’ awareness of the benefits of sports, and in particular of swimming.