x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Teenager with special swimming ambitions

A special needs teenager who has been considered for the Special Olympics will take part in a charity swim around the Burj Al Arab tomorrow.

DUBAI // A special needs teenager who has been considered for the Special Olympics will take part in a charity swim around the Burj Al Arab tomorrow.

Eoin Gibson, an Australian who has Down's Syndrome, is hoping to secure victory in the 1km race, which takes place the day before his 19th birthday.

"It's very hard but I just love to do it anyway," said Eoin, who works in the catering department at the Dubai Women's College. "I've always dreamed of being involved in sport."

He will join 450 swimmers in the annual Swim Burj Al Arab at the Wild Wadi Water Park which raises funds for the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (DWB). The event is expected to raise around Dh200,000.

Eoin reached the state finals of a swimming competition in his native Brisbane in 2005 and was visited by a Special Olympics delegation visiting Dubai earlier this year. His father, a member of the information technology faculty at the women's college, said his son has been training regularly.

"We took him swimming from four weeks of age," said Senan Gibson. "His mother makes sure he does his laps every week. We've never told him that he's different from anybody else. He's always been capable of doing things that he wants to do."

 

mcroucher@thenational.ae