Ērika Južnaja, a pupil in class 8B at Rēzekne Speech Therapy Boarding School and Development Centre and a member of the society “Autism Support Centre in Rēzekne”, together with her dad as part of the Autism Society of Latvia team represented Latvia in the European sports event ECAP (The European Competition for Autistic People), which took place in Italy from September 6 until September 10.
Delegations from 12 EU states took part in the event, 120 people total, and 400 delegates from 10 regions of Italy who were representing the local societies of the organisation Progetto Filipide.
The Latvian delegation was hosted in the city of Ragusa in Sicily where we were kindly welcomed by Progetto Filippide Ragusa with an excellent programme.
On September 8 together with the members of the society Progetto Filippide Ragusa we went to Rome where in the morning of September 9 a swimming competition took place, and Ērika won the high 2nd place in it, swimming the backstroke for the first time. I would like to note that nobody lost in these competitions because all participants received prizes and medals. For the following day a big run was planned – the Run for Autism Europa, 2.5 km and 10 km distances, but unfortunately due to heavy rain it was cancelled.
Apart from sports activities we also went on excursions and had an opportunity to swim in the Mediterranean Sea; still, the biggest unforgettable moments we had experienced were in Rome, the capital of Italy.
The Latvian team has successfully returned to Rīga with new impressions, wonderful experience and new friends in Italy! I would like to thank the Autism Society of Latvia, Progetto Filippide and Progetto Filipide Ragusa and their leader Belinda who were always there for us, and special thanks to Sandra and Edgars Šilins for making it possible to travel to Italy and enjoy this fabulous experience!
Impressions shared by Aleksandrs JUŽNAJS, Ērika’s dad