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Learning Support Assistant Inspired By The GEMS Determination Cup

Every child impatiently looks forward to a day that is entirely non-academic and yet is rewarded the 'mental agility' and the 'I CAN DO' attitude through sports which becomes an integral part of their personality. Therefore, instilling the importance of academics and sports together from the juvenile age, a child starts to receive the wonderful gifts of belief in oneself, being fair, to endure and be patient, and finally, the child grows up and becomes a part of the civilized society. And to witness and experience this in a micro way, I was one of the lucky participants along with my student.

The budding spring came with a splendid news that GEMS Education this year has embarked on a new journey and through their GEMS Sports Series, children who face many uncalled and unnamed challenges in their day to day life will be given a platform to hone their skills and realize that they can be as sportive as any legend.

The meet was held on the ground of GEMS Wellington, Silicon Oasis and the person who was behind this concept is Nick Watson, a British former Royal Marine who has a 15 years old boy named Rio Watson who was born with a very rare chromosome disorder, known widely as 1q44 deletion syndrome, which affected Rio's speech and motor skills and has made even his simple movements like walking a big challenge and communicates through sign language. But his son's inability to move around like a normal child did not scare nor stopped him and he went ahead and ran marathons, completed duathlons and triathlons along with his son. He firmly believes that leading a healthy life is not a challenge but a way of life. And the most motivating part he said that his wife Delphine and their 12 years old daughter Tia have been very supportive and stood like a pillar of strength. The Watson family are known as 'Team Angel Wolf' because Rio is an Angel and Tia's nickname is Little Wolf. Also, the foot tapping musical performance by the teachers and the children of the GEMS Wellington school on the African djembe kept us enthralled and I was preparing myself to hit the ground.

The GEMS Determination Cup - 2018-19 commenced by releasing the balloons to mark the ceremony as an endeavor to bring together the children with determination to exhibit their skills and raise awareness for the society to accept them normally.

The weather was awesome with mild breeze, less heat and there was an array of games that were lined up for two teams to play with each other non-competitively for 6 minutes and with every song change, the teams move ahead to another new and motivating game.  All the children were smiling and enjoying the day in two respective venues meant for primary and secondary children and the adults were not only cheering their teams but helping around and there was this air filled with happiness, gratitude and laughter and it was evident on our faces. I felt the Tug-O-War was the best game to show strength and teamwork as many others were joining in when the team had fewer members.

As we all were enjoying the time hopping, swaying to the music and watching our students play energetically, the announcement heralded the end of the meet. We all exited the field and moved for the final award ceremony where participants were awarded a medal and a certificate. The happiness over each's face expressed a thousand unspoken words and we got connected to each and everyone from the heart. Sometimes, we do not need an interpreter to know what love and emotions mean. It is a universal language that transcends above everything.

And then, while I was waiting patiently with my student to board the bus back to school, I was thinking how the event inspired me and how I will try to empower my student from that moment onwards and make him realize his disability is a not obstacle to his success.  And I am certain that the same emotions and thoughts were imbuing everywhere in the arena because love is infectious and supreme.

Geeta Mannan Sharma

Learning Support Assistant to Krishaang Dawra

GEMS Modern Academy