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Let’s change the world

It’s the age-old question, if you had three wishes, what would you wish for?  A million dollars, a new house, to end climate change, world peace, summer all year long. 

We all have things we wish for and we all have things we want to change.

Image of man looking at two roads with two signs facing left and right. To the right is the sign ‘change’ and to the right its the sign ‘old ways’

Change often doesn’t happen overnight. If we all had a magic wand to grant all our wishes, I’m sure we would use it, however, to create change in the real world, it takes work and it takes time. Without change, our society wouldn’t be where it is today.

We have all wanted change in our lives. Whether it be something small, like the route you take to get to work or something big like changing the way people talk to you, we have all wanted to change something in our lives.

Case study: Creating and working towards change

I’ve has been a swimmer my whole life. Never competitively, more for the fitness side of it all.  When I was a kid I did swimming lessons like everyone else. I can’t bend my right leg so for some things like breaststroke I had to make up my own style, but having a twin sister meant I couldn’t fall behind, I had to keep up. 

Once I left high school I decided I wanted to join a swim club for the social and fitness aspects. I was looking for a non-competitive club to join, which I thought would be easy. Almost every pool in Australia runs Masters Swim clubs aimed at people over 18 who want to swim for fitness and fun rather than the competition. I thought it would be as simple as signing up, attending a few trial sessions and that would be it. I was very wrong.  

Approaching ‘mainstream’ clubs with a clearly visible physical disability meant I was pushed aside and told it would be better if I join a disability club. I was told the coaches wouldn’t be able to ‘coach me’, that the insurance would become an issue and that I might not be able to keep up with the club.  Almost a year had passed and I was almost at the point of giving up. I approached an organisation, Rebound WA who had connections with mainstream swimming clubs and within a week I was attending my first trial session with a local swimming club.  The volunteer coaches at the club all asked me about how I go about certain strokes and any adaptations I need. 

Since joining, the club has welcomed more people living with a disability.

Since joining, the club now welcomes all people with a disability. I have also gone on to swim the Busselton Jetty Swim and the Rottnest channel swim, achievements I would have never thought possible without having joined the club.   

It makes me happy to know that because I persisted and I worked at this, other people with a disability won’t have to face all those challenges and rejections that I had to go through to get here.