Peter Norfolk, Paralympics gold medalist, joins UNICEF Montenegro campaign “It’s About Ability”
Podgorica/Nikšić, MONTENEGRO, 20-21 June 2013 - The Famous British Paralympics gold medal winning athlete Peter Norfolk paid a two-day visit to Montenegro in June 2013. He talked to the children in the Day Care Centre in Niksic and the Resource Centre in Podgorica about his life and sports career, about will and persistence. He gladly joined the "It's About Ability” initiated by UNICEF and the Government of Montenegro to address the social exclusion and discrimination of children with disabilities.
“Before my accident I was very sporty. And now I believe that everything can change from an active mind, an active body and being competitive”, said Peter Norfolk.
The wheelchair tennis ace played few matches with children and adults. Norfolk, known by the nickname the Quadfather, had an impressive sports career, winning two gold medals at the Paralympics Games in Athens and Beijing, and numerous other titles at various tournaments.
Katarina Ćetković, former student of the Resource Centre in Podgorica, was impressed by Peter’s life achiements. “I must say that I was very fascinated by his success and results achieved. And it's really a great pleasure to see him in live”, said her.
“Peter inspired me to start thinking about playing sports, Tennis”, said Marko Otašević, student of the Resource Centre.
The Paralympics athlete shared his story with several hundreds guests in the Montenegrin National Theatre, where UNICEF and the British Embassy organized a celebration on the occasion of his visit. The film The Best of Men, based on the true story of the creation of the Paralympics, was shown.
“I've achieved most of my dreams. I never thought that I'll have a family. I have a family. I never thought I'll be a tennis player. I've been a tennis player... The barriers are put on you by everybody else. Every one in the chair - you chose, they are your choices, not anyone else's, they are your choices. You have the choice wether you want to be great, and I would just say - Go out and do it.", said Peter Norfolk.
With his visit to Montenegro, Norfolk has supported the “It's About Ability” campaign which started in September 2010 with the aim of showing the powerful potential of children with disabilities in Montenegro.
"Having Peter Norfolk as a double gold winning Paralympics athlete is an incredible priviledge for us here in Montenegro. He is speaking with children with disability, young people with disability, their families and a wider community and delivering really inspirational message about how we can all work together to break down barriers and insure that people with disability and children with disability are included in our society", said Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Representative to Montenegro.
“Bringing him here together to help promote the UNICEF campaign on "It's About Ability has been really great. He has inspired us all with his very positive atitude to overcoming barriers . He doesn't see those barriers, he sees them as opportunities to do things.", said H.E. Ms. Catherine Knight-Sands, UK ambassador to Montenegro.
Peter Norfolk is one of many great people who became friends of The “It's About Ability” campaign. More than 100 partners joined the campaign from the international community, media, government, civil and private sector and they actively contributed to the campaign’s success including a dramatic increase of enrolment of children with disabilities in schools.