DIANELLA paralympian Adam Deans inspired Churchlands Senior High School students with his story as part of an International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) visit last week.
The 28-year-old wheelchair basketball player, who had his left leg amputated above the knee following a cancer scare at 17, visited the school to talk to students about finding their life purpose, the importance of quality relationships and building a strong, healthy team culture.
Health and physical education teacher Rob Cross said it was important to have the Paralympian, who was part of this year’s Australian team in Rio, visit the school to share his story and make students aware of the day.
“It was great to have Adam share his story about what it takes to get the best out of yourself and to inspire the students to never give up on their dreams regardless of what obstacles they face,” he said.
“I hope they came away optimistic about what they can achieve and the importance of getting the best out of themselves.”
Deans said he hoped talking about various topics such as overcoming adversity, having a purpose to life and setting goals would act as motivation for the students and their future dreams.
“In my experience simply walking into a school in a green and gold tracksuit is almost enough motivation for the children but I am hoping that after hearing my story about my cancer journey and sporting career it was very motivating for them,” he said.
He said days such as IDPWD aimed to broaden people’s understanding of people with disabilities, a topic he hoped came across in his talk.
“There is still more work to be done in communities and schools to remove the negative stigma that is still somewhat attached to people living with a disability,” he said.
IDPWD is held around December 3 and aims to break down disability barriers and celebrate abilities.
The visit was run in partnership with not-for-profit organisation Avivo and Churchlands Senior High School.