My name is Sui Watts and I am 25 years old.
My horse riding and local community have always been there supporting me and this is a story of what they helped me achieve!
When I was eight years old I went to the 2000 Sydney Paralympics and after watching dressage there, I decided that is what I wanted to do. Sadly, after some athletes cheated, all [Paralympic] international sport for people with an intellectual disability was suspended. In the meantime, I was classified under my physical disability, Grade 4. Which meant that I was able to compete but it was really hard. In July mum saw that they were going to run the 1st International Federation for Athletes with an Intellectual Disability Video Dressage Competition for people. We couldn’t believe it. This is what my coach Nell Marshman and I had been working towards since 2000, so there was no way we were not going to enter. I wasn’t worried about where I would come, it was just a dream come true to enter. It was with much surprise when we got the news that I had come second in the world.
Mum taught me not to settle for anything less than my very best. If someone says I can’t do something I say, ‘Why not?’ Together we set goals, make plans and go for it. Then if it all falls apart we pick ourselves up and start again.
Read more about DSA’s position on sport and recreation for people with Down syndrome