Two sets of dancing double-world champions have emerged from the Chaeli Sports & Recreation Club - part of the Chaeli Campaign - which was started by a UCT student to fight for young people with disabilities to have fair access to opportunities and services.
Chaeli Mycroft, a UCT student, and her partner Damian Michaels twirled to victories in both the ballroom and Latin American sections in Combi Class 1 (determined by wheelchair dancer's physical ability) at the Wheelchair Dancing World Cup in the amateur category. Their feat was matched by their club mates Chantelle le Roux and partner Mukhtar Lee, who triumphed in Combi Class 2 at the World Cup, which took place in the Netherlands in April.
The couples saw off competition from sixteen other countries, with more than two hundred couples competing in the various sections.
"Being double world champions is an incredible thing to have happen," says Mycroft. "We are so excited that we had the opportunity to represent South Africa in such a special way. I have an amazing dancing partner, Damian, and feel so lucky to share the title with him. This experience is something that we cherish, but it also makes us want to work harder to achieve more in our dancing careers."
She added: "For The Chaeli Campaign - more specifically the Chaeli Sports & Recreation Club - it is an expression of its mission - to show that amazing things are possible through inclusion - and that's very exciting for the organisation and all involved. We will continue to work towards this mission and look forward to what the future holds."
Mycroft's campaign aims to open a range of fun pastimes to children and young people who move around in wheelchairs, from wheelchair dancing, inclusive tenpin bowling to hand cycling and Karate.
The Chaeli Campaign's occupational therapy project for early childhood development community centres was recently named as a runner-up in the Centre for Education Innovation's (supported by UNICEF) Global Education Innovation Awards. It was the only South African project to feature in these awards.
Story by Yusuf Omar. Image supplied.
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