Rosita Battilana is the first woman with Down Syndrome to receive a black belt and first degree. Dan in Taekwondo, who has been invited to a dance therapy class, thinks about the importance of physical activities. SND thus commits, through virtual sports lessons, to the anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day, which is celebrated today, 21 March.
In continuation of the policy of inclusion, the National Sports Secretariat celebrates the International Day of Down Syndrome, and through its virtual sports classes, broadcast via live broadcast and Paraguay TV, it promotes physical and recreational sports activities that work to prove that sport is a valid tool for integrating and improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities.
He hosted a dance therapy class with Professor Norman Fernandez as a luxury guest Taekwondo player Rosita Battilana, the first woman with Down syndrome to receive a black belt and first class. Dan in Taekwondo. In addition to being a strong activist for the rights of persons with disabilities, she is also a multi-world champion, having represented Paraguay in several international events.
With her distinct joy, Rosetta enjoyed sharing a moment of physical activity, all under the watchful eyes of her mother and main companion, Graciela Battilana. Rosita’s mother said: “She lives sports, and has already been involved with sport from a young age, with the Special Olympics program in Paraguay, where she plays swimming and athletics.”
“No depression, no sadness”
Regarding what sport means in the life of the Battilana family, Graciela noted, “Sport has given Rosetta and still gives her a lot of strength, to me too. That is why I urge parents who have children of the same condition to always accompany their children to play the sport they love, because it does not.” There is depression or sadness, on the contrary, they feel really satisfied and looking, for them it is a tremendous joy at the time of receiving the medal. “
“She was very happy when I learned that he was coming to dance in the secretariat. He did not sleep. She was very excited and so am I. Personally, I am proud of the efforts SND has made to implement the classes, and for the professionalism in working with people with disabilities.”
“The hero who breaks down barriers”
Rosita Battilana wrote about Paraguayan sport history for being the first woman with Down syndrome to reach the black belt in Taekwondo. The martial artist believes that an intellectual disability is not a reason to avoid playing sports. “All people should play sports and do whatever they like,” Rosetta says.
“She is the ATA World Taekwondo Champion. In 2019, we received full assistance from the National Sports Secretariat and thanks to this she managed to achieve her goals, winning six medals and entering the top ten in her category.” She did not neglect discipline in her training.
“In all this time of quarantine it was practicing effectively, then when there was more freedom, it came back to practice again in the academy, always with all the health care and training in the staff,” he said.
World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on March 21 every year, and despite the complications that the world is experiencing, such a memorial day that was identified in the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, which seeks inclusion and social awareness, cannot be overlooked.
People with this syndrome have become great examples of life, often inspiring people who have managed to cross any barrier, and not be excluded from sports, where there are great advocates.
The benefits of regular sporting activities are more than proven and well known. In people with intellectual disabilities, the contribution of sport is also evident, in the form of social integration, interaction between colleagues or improved self-esteem, as well as in many other essential areas.
An intellectual disability should not be an excuse for not preserving an athletic life. All persons, without discrimination in any situation, should be able to play sports, because sport, without a doubt, is a great opportunity to develop and enhance the skills and attitudes of persons with disabilities.
Although a lot of work has already been done in all-around sports, there is still a long way to go. As with every year, awareness-raising measures must be strengthened in order to remove cultural barriers.
Let’s remember that people with Down syndrome are aware of their condition, but this does not mean that there is an obstacle to doing all the proposed activities, to be happy with them, and to build a full life, where sport fills a large space in their lives.