Thessaloniki: A couple organizes sports activities for the disabled – From climbing Mount Olympus to underwater fishing – photo

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They give the opportunity to people with mobility problems to have activities such as mountain climbing, tours of monuments, but also diving

Climbing in mountains such as Olympus at 2,912 meters, tours of rivers, lakes, caves, places of natural beauty, monuments and museums as well as swimming, underwater fishing and boating, are some of the activities organized and carried out by a couple from Thessaloniki for people with mobility problems living in Greece and abroad.

The love of Suzana Georgoulis and Giorgos Bairaktaris for nature, mountaineering and water sports, combined with their love for fellow human beings and especially for people who face mobility problems and were called after an accident, to live a difficult different reality in a wheelchair, they were enough to dedicate their lives to achieving missions that for some seem like impossible dreams.

The most touching moment they experienced, as they say, was when a wheelchair user put his signature in the book of the “Skolio” peak of Olympus at 2,912 m, which he reached with their help. “We were all crying when we got to the top. Think how he felt 35-year-old, who before the accident was a climber and when he was returning with his motorcycle to Athens, after climbing Mount Olympus, he was the victim of a traffic accident and finally managed to climb this particular peak again with his wheelchair and our help”, he describes with emotion.

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“I’ve been spearfishing with a quadriplegic. It is difficult even to describe to you in words, how this man expressed his joy and satisfaction, that he managed to do something that he only dreamed of after the accident he had”, he says.

“We want to offer the best we can to people who until now could not be active in many areas, such as sports and leisure travel”, points out Suzana Georgoulis and explains that people with mobility problems have the same needs as everyone and there is a way to satisfy these entertainment and sports needs with the right equipment.

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“We acquired equipment such as an all-terrain wheelchair, an electric scooter, an aid for entering the water where there is no similar infrastructure, an inflatable boat and personal protection items”, she notes and clarifies that together with her husband, for the last seven years, they have also been planning they implement vacation programs, while taking care of daily needs and protecting the life and health of the disabled, as they have the necessary equipment to deal with even an emergency situation.

DISABLED

Suzana and George are caregiversassistants of People with Disabilities in holidays, sports and leisure activities and both have the necessary education and knowledge they need (nursing, rescuers, ambulance crew, first aid and training in caring for people with disabilities).

As they point out, “most people with disabilities in Greece are reluctant, due to the conditions, and partly due to mentality, to leave their homes and be active in various sectors. That’s what we’re trying to change and we’re really glad we were able to do something about it. Of course, a lot of work still needs to be done. We will continue to strive for the best, after all it is important to emphasize that our own joy and satisfaction from our offer to our fellow human beings is also huge”.

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