HARVEY McCorkell and Patrick Giblin have returned from adaptive sports programs in the United States and Costa Rica with an attitude.
Where signs say wheelchairs are prohibited, the two young wheelchair-bound boys want to go.
The Warrnambool boys gained lots of aspirations as well as new skills, and many bruises, after attending a Life Rolls On skate camp at Venice Beach in California.
Both keen wheelchair skaters in Warrnambool, they took their skills to a new level after being mentored by world leaders in wheelchair skating.
Harvey’s mother, Kylie Thulborn, said the camp, and an adaptive adventure sports program that followed in Costa Rica, had given the two boys role models.
Both now want to compete in wheelchair racing in the Paralympics but have also set themselves local goals.
Patrick, 8, has taken on the travelator at Warrnambool’s Target shopping centre, learning that if he goes on backwards it is manageable.
Harvey, 11, honed his skills in getting up and down stairs in a wheelchair on the trip and doesn’t want too many ramps when he goes to high school next year, preferring the challenge of mounting steps. “I learnt how to keep my balance,” he said.
Of their exploits in skate parks overseas, Harvey rates doing the “snake run” as his best accomplishment while Patrick has got a “one-handed mono” down pat.
Patrick’s prowess was also enhanced by his acquisition in the United States of a customised lighter and more manoeuvrable wheelchair that allows him to get over gutters unaided.
Patrick’s mother Karen Giblin said it had been exhilarating to see the children seek a different comfort level with their sport. The two also went surfing, quad bike and horse riding, and zip-lining on cables through a rainforest canopy in Costa Rica.
The trip inspired the boys’ mothers who have returned with a passion to implement similar adaptive sports programs locally.