Adapting to the rhythm

ELENA GARRIDO

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Translated by Álvaro Rodríguez Huguet

Sara Suárez in one of her trainings in the C.C Joan Oliver. MIQUEL PASCUAL

Limits don’t matter to Sara Suarez. At hers 32 years old, she has never considered to stop. Surely, since her career has brought her to being able to exploit every opportunity that life offers to her, the biggest challenge we face. A challenge in which nothing can stop her, neither she, nor her girls. Yes, hers.

It all started when she was 16 years old. Sport passionate, she decided to focus in her future in this way. In the research work of high school, Sara’s curiosity led her to meet the adapted sport in its whole. And, either it’s her destiny or just by chance, she met a girl that would mark her path: the daughter of the teacher of Physical Education, Estel Griñó, had Down syndrome. Nowadays, this girl that started being the orientation of a passion in crescendo, she’s a pupil of hers in rhythmic gymnastics, one of her girls.

The decisive rhythm
Getting over the academic goal, she studied Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, she holds a master in secondary teacher training and, finally, took a doctorate in Education and Sport Sciences. The first year of her degree, Sara had her first job, a dream that would mark the rhythm of her life. She worked as a monitor in a special education school, doing any activity they ordered her.

Alba Gabarró, one of the gymnasts in a competition. SARA SUÁREZ

But a girl full of challenges and motivation like her decided to go further and think what was missing in that school. That is when she thought of Estel, she had been who, after all, made her to be there going to the adapted sport classes. Sara had known her very well, her and her disease. She knew the needs and abilities she had and, above all, she was interested in what made her happy. That’s why she thought of rhythmic gymnastics.

From challenges to projects
Sara throw herself at posing the proposition of making a gymnastics group of girls with Down syndrome in the school. It was accepted, but she had to manage it: this is how her project begun. At first, she had considered dance, as it’s important to express oneself. But, as an athlete, she felt more comfortable with a ruling, a language. Although she has never done rhythmic gymnastics before, she believed that, between all sports in the world, in this one expression is what is needed the most. And, Sara, a woman of challenges, decided to give a course to become trainer of this sport for being able to support her girls.

The group worked, it started with five girls, and fast she was aware that all the contributions were reciprocal; the string that bind her to the girls will never be cut. That’s why, it was needed to go further the school.
She accomplished having her club: C.E. Jeroni de Moragas. Nowadays, they train every Wednesday and the reward she obtains isn’t about money, but pride of seeing how this become a family, between the members of which there is a bond and a trust relationship that cannot be explained. “No one does something without receiving something”, and Sara receives enough strength to make it through all week long and face everything yet to come. Currently, she and her girls have a new challenge: the Spanish Championships in Elx, in which they will fight, as always, rhythm by rhythm.

International progress
In 2004, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) approved the proposition of formalising the paralympic sports inclusion in the international federations of every sport. Since then, it has been experimented a height of the collaboration between international olympic committees and the paralympic ones, that has sped up significantly the inclusion process of every country.

Furthermore, the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (IFAPA) has promoted over the last decade structural changes in the educational area that keep moving forward. Without them, the awareness tasks could not be carried out.

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