Father figures come in all forms, sometimes as big brothers or sports coaches. They’re the dads in our lives who encourage us never to give up, pushing us to be the best version of ourselves.
We’re celebrating 3 amazing stories from Special Olympics this Father’s Day. Meet these superhero dads who have made a difference in the world.
The Superhero Who Juggles Like A Pro
“I’m grateful for this little world I’ve been blessed with. Life may not always be perfect, but I’m learning to be a better dad, a better athlete and a better human every single day”
– Graeme Porter
Graeme Porter strives to do everything for his two young daughters, Lilly-Rose and Violet, whether it’s getting up early in the morning to put his Ramsay on to cook them delicious breakfast or fighting against the clock to drop them off at school. Graeme is an apprentice aluminum joiner, race car driver, basketball coach, and former athletes’ representative on New Zealand’s Special Olympics Board, and we best believe that these are just some of the hats he wears! He believes in giving his best in all that he does whilst living with an intellectual disability, even if sometimes that means overstretching himself. This superhero strives to be a better athlete, dad, and role model to his daughters every single day!
The Superhero Who Coaches To Make Lives Better
“Personally, as a sportsman, I do not feel that I have achieved my fullest potential. But as a coach, witnessing the accomplishments of our athletes and knowing that I had played a role in their success, is enough for me. Through them, I have achieved my dreams!
– Nischal Nishal Karan
Good coaches change games, great coaches transform lives. Nischal Nishal Karan is not just a great coach, but a father figure to numerous students in Fiji. As a teacher and coach, he constantly comes up with creative ways to conduct his lessons outdoors, using fun games to capture the attention of his students and helping those with intellectual disabilities learn in an inclusive environment.
The proudest moment of his life was when his student, Molly Esther, was awarded the title of ‘Fiji’s Sportswoman Of The Year’. He felt like a proud dad. “I will never forget that moment in time, when a 16-year-old made history by becoming the first athlete with intellectual disability to receive the industry’s highest accolade,” says Nischal. “I was thankful to have been a part of Molly’s journey, watching her grow from a shy child to a confident sports star.”
The Superhero Who Makes Miracles Happen
People call Rachna Singh the ‘miracle child’, a miracle that couldn’t have been possible without unconditional love, support and trust from her superhero father, Kuldip Singh.
When her father found out she was a special child, it broke his heart, but not his spirit! His salary as a Head Constable with the Haryana Police Force couldn’t cover the fees of a private special education school, but he was determined to provide the best education and resources to his daughter. Despite limited means, he hired private coaches to enable her to fulfil her ambition as a professional skater.
In 2020, Rachna’s dreams became reality when she was selected to represent India in short track speed skating in Sweden. “All I could think of while I was in the rink was winning the gold medal for Dad,” says Rachna. She gave it her all and eventually won two silver medals. It was one of the proudest moments for Rachna and her family!