On November 10, the “Angels’ Wings” team organized a training seminar “Through Joint Workouts to Active Parenthood”, within the framework of the programme “CSOs Resource Centre” supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany. The event was held in the conference hall of Belarusian State University of Physical Culture, with its students, faculty staff and volunteers as the main participants. Irina Dergach, Head of the “Angels’ Wings” Sports Club, stressed that student volunteers play an increasingly important role in organization of races every year.
During the introductory part of the seminar, Dmitry Timashkou, Head of “Angels’ Wings” team, shared his story – how more than two years ago, he started racing with his daughter Lilia, who is wheelchair-bound because of a severe disability. Speaking from experience, Dmitry underscored that one could race with children of any age and regardless of one’s health state.
|Dmitry Timashkou, Head of “Angels’ Wings” team|
In winter, the “Angels’ Wings” team races in the arena of the Olympic Athletics Training Center, where volunteers and university students do a lot to help to organize trainings for children, but have very little time to actually communicate. Dmitry Timashkou and Irina believe that such training seminars help bring volunteers and team members closer, attract young people to the team, because sport is intended for active people. “University students are practically our colleagues now, who help us to organize training. Together we can go further, and not just with people who are enthusiastic but with skilled professionals.“
|Participants of the Training Seminar “Through Joint Workouts to Active Parenthood”|
Irina presented the global history of joint parent-children wheelchair races. The team of “Angels’ Wings" has been actively taking part in races for three years now, and earlier this year, Dmitry, Irina and Lilia travelled to the US to take part in a Wisconsin state charity race, bringing a new racing wheelchair back to their club. You can read more about the trip and their impressions on our website: Angels' Wings Team Back from Overseas: on Crowdfunding and Their Travel Impressions.
|Irina Dergach, Head of “Angels’ Wings” Sports Club at a Biz4all training Photo by: Vitaly Brazousky|
Dmitry also introduced the experience of organizing inclusive racing events in Minsk. In early autumn, “Angels’ Wings” team organized a race in the Loshitsa park. The race brought together 500 people, with 30% of them taking part in an “Angels’ Wings” race for the first time. Dmitry says: “These were families with children. On the one hand, there is nothing surprising about it, but let us note that this was not just a school run or an event that you can easily walk in and out from: we had a pre-registration process and an entrance fee, which meant that people came to race knowingly and deliberately. Many parents raced with small children who were in strollers, because they had not yet learned to walk or did not walk well. This means that, working with disabled kids, we found a unique approach that is in demand in society and fits everyone without exception”.
|Race of the “Angels’ Wings” team and participants of the training “Through Joint Workouts to Active Parenthood” in the sports arena of Belarusian State University of Physical Culture|
Dmitry also underscored the importance of creating a community of like-minded people, and that the seminar “Through Joint Workouts to Active Parenthood” was just another attempt to bring new people to the team. This winter, “Angels’ Wings” are taking part in a marathon on the Canary Islands, with a total of 26 races planned for the next year.
|Ivan Kamischenka, a family psychologist|
Ivan Kamischenka, a family psychologist who has been racing with the team for about two years, was in charge of the practical session during the training. He introduced mindfulness, a new direction in psychology based on the importance of focusing on the “here and now”. The rainy but friendly and educational Friday ended with a mass wheelchair race in the arena of Belarusian State University of Physical Culture.
Text by: Valeriya Nikalaichyk
Photo by: Lisa Timashkova, Yuliya Vishnevskaya, Olga Gaiduk