I have never seen so many smiling, happy faces as I saw during Adelaide’s Buddy Walk, celebrating the achievements of those with Down Syndrome.
Ten years ago Foundation 21 took up the concept of the Buddy Walk which had its genesis in the US five years earlier.
Based on the success of the Adelaide walks the event has spread across Australia and is growing by the year. When you go along you can see why. There is such a positive, warm vibe that quickly consumes you as those with Down Syndrome, their families and friends come together with celebrities,sports people and local identities to share a walk.
I never cease to be amazed at the confidence and out going personalties that personify many of those with Down Syndrome. If you think your going along for quiet leisurely walk, think again. Many of the kids have very inquiring minds and by the end of the walk they’ve not only found out everything about you but have told you exactly what they have achieved with their lives.
While the organisers are always quick to thank the “celebrities’ for giving their time for the walk. I believe it is us who should be thanking them. I always leave the walk feeling I’ve gained so much. Spirit uplifted, a look at life from a slightly different perspective.
As in any family Down syndrome children are all individuals and present their own set of challenges. To see these kids, some performing on stage, others enjoying the emtertainment and some just there for the walk, was a revelation. They were all achieving in their own way.
The Buddy Walk celebrates the many abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome. Take time out to take part next year.