International wheelchair marathon reaches Poltava
Over the next few days the International Marathon “Commonwealth” will pass over Ukraine. The disabled participants began their journey in the Pushkino district of the Moscow region on 26 June and plan to finish in Mogilyev (Belarus) on 15 July.
The 40 participants, all confined to wheelchairs, are people with accomplishments in sport, culture and other spheres of life from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Moldova. Their journey will pass through Pushkino and Vyazma in the Moscow region, Smolensk, Bryansk, Sumy, Poltava, Kishinyev, Odessa and Mogilyev.
In each home for the disabled the marathon travellers will hold sports competitions, a small concert with the residents of the home participating and an exhibition of literature and periodical material on disabled issues. They will spend time with the residents, talking to them about their life and how they themselves can make their life more varied, interesting and worthwhile (the programme will be adapted to local conditions).
The aim is to develop in people living in closed conditions in such homes self-respect, awareness of themselves as individuals, wanting to live an active life, engage in creative and sporting activities, to organize civic life in such homes, enrich their own lives through interesting events and positive emotions.
They hope to involve local civic and youth organizations, inspire them to help people in these homes on a systematic basis, to encourage implementation of government programmes aimed at social rehabilitation and integration of people with disabilities.
The “Marathon Commonwealth” is a demonstration of courage and strength of will, the triumph of the human spirit over any adversity. It is the ardent longing of people with limited opportunities to see a WORLD WITHOUT BORDERS and without barriers.