Yes 3 days to go until my interview with Radio Eden AM 1360 in South Africa
Am I nervous! Oh yes.
Am I excited! OH YES!
Can we make a difference to the lives of the children around us? I believe we can. To this end I have written a series of books for middle graders (8-11 yrs) to show that those who are physically challenged can also enjoy life to the full. In this day and age of prosthetic arms, blades and racing wheelchairs NO-ONE need to be left out. There is a way to include all.
The London Paralympics was a huge pivotal moment for me. I was inspired by the closing speech of Sir Phillip Craven. He told of how a mother and her son were reading a book together. In the book the book was a man with a hook for a hand, an eye patch over one eye and a wooden leg. When asked who he was, he said.
“Well he has only one leg, so he must be an Olympian.”
Such was the strength od the 2012 Paralympic Games that is changed peoples’ perceptions of disability forever. Mine included. the speech made me both laugh and cry and gave me the inspiration for this series of books (Polly’s Piralympics). I wanted to show that disability does not mean inability and to also tie it in with the fact that cheating and bullying aren’t cool.
Just because someone has a challenge either physical or mental (and by the way we all have one – can’t spell, can’t count, can’t cook, can’t sing, can’t dance etc. etc.) that does not mean they should be excluded or bullied. The bully is the weak link and in the words of Anne Robinson.
“You are the Weakest Link… Goodbye.”
Kids need to learn to stand up for themselves and those around them. Everywhere – home, school, clubs should be places of ZERO tolerance for bullies. Tell a teacher, tell a friend, tell your mum or dad. Friends stand up for each other, STOP THE BULLIES. Show them that you do not accept their behaviour. MAKE A DIFFERENCE.