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In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day

Snap Fitness’ heart-warming connection with Down Syndrome SA

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is marked each year on March 21. The 21st day of March was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. The 21st of March 2021 will mark the 16th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day and for the tenth year in 2021 this day will be officially observed by the United Nations.

WDSD is observed around the world in more than 60 countries and advocates for the rights of people with Down syndrome. Organisations and communities can contribute by promoting WDSD to raise awareness and understanding of Down syndrome.

Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with people with Down syndrome grows louder. However, there is still so much more we can all do.

The internet is a powerful tool for raising awareness and Orana and Down Syndrome SA encourages people to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day through social media and any other digital means.

Help join the cause to create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and wellbeing of people with Down syndrome on Sunday 21st of March.

The best way to promote awareness of Down syndrome is for people to share their unique stories in their own words of what Down syndrome means to them.

An unbreakable bond with Down Syndrome SA

Young parents Andrew Abbott and Mary Murray heartbreakingly lost their son with Down syndrome in 2012.

In October 2012, their third child Angus was born with Down syndrome. They immediately knew that Angus had some health complications, which resulted in Angus spending more time in hospital than at home with his family. Angus was on oxygen for his entire short life. The time Angus had at home with his older siblings Olivia and William were precious and visiting him at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital on Christmas Day will forever be memorable. On the 30th of December 2012 after a courageous fight, Angus suddenly passed away peacefully at his family home due to ongoing breathing complications. The young family was devastated.

During Angus’s short life, Down Syndrome SA (DSSA) was a great support to Andrew and Mary. Down Syndrome SA’s support provided reading materials to assist in understanding Angus’ needs and gave the family confidence that they would be able to support him and be with them on life’s journey.
Andrew expressed, “we were confident that Angus had chosen us for the love and support we could provide”.

Andrew shares his mission for life, “when Angus passed away, I wanted to build a business that could support people with Down syndrome – I wanted to do something which honored Angus. I was aware that people with Down syndrome sometimes have lower muscle tone so exercise can be an important part of their lifestyle. After much research and planning, our family opened Snap Fitness Woodville at 57 Woodville Road in February 2015. Prior to opening, we invited Down Syndrome SA to bring a group to the gym every week to use the facility free of charge”.

Snap Fitness Woodville has been sponsoring Down Syndrome SA from the first day the Club opened on February 2015. DSSA’s Life Ed group visits Snap Fitness on Tuesdays weekly to fortnightly.

Snap Fitness members and staff love it when the team from Life Ed visit because they bring fun, energy and enthusiasm. There’s always lots of debate among the Life Ed team as to the music they choose on Snap Fitness Nightlife Music Video system. When they use the rowers, bikes and weights, they don’t hold back!

Due to the ongoing frequency and connection between Life Ed participants and Snap Fitness, some of the DSSA team have joined the Club and also used Personal Trainers for 1on1 training.

The participants of Life Ed have massively benefited from the generosity of the team at Snap Fitness Woodville since 2015. It’s an outing that we all look forward to and it’s really helped us to stay fit and healthy, especially with the impact of Covid-19 limiting our community outings. Thank you Snap Fitness!

What does World Down Syndrome Day mean to you? 

Andrew said, “it’s a day when we celebrate people with Down syndrome and honour their achievements. Making sure that we see the person first as a great contributor to society, i.e. not Down syndrome”.

Please have a look at this awesome video of Life Ed participants exercising at Snap Fitness Woodville

As well as photos of Life Ed participants working out and using the exercise machines.

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