Being able to be a part of this last week has been such a privilege especially as this sort of a gathering isn't something that's part of one's everyday things to witness. An exchange between the very "open" Spanish Martial Arts company (DKF - Spain) and the classically private Brits (DKF - UK), this exchange was certainly an experience to behold.
The difference between the two groups in terms of confidence was evident especially, when it came finding ways to communicate with each other. Typically, the athletes from Spain were very loud and confident, and were definitely willing to have a go at finding ways to break the language barriers - always a good laugh and part of the fun for both parties involved; on the other hand I felt the rather "private" British team had managed to create a little clique like group, which would have been fine if they'd then be encouraged by the adults/carers to venture around and talk to the Spanish Groups. Without encouragement from people we turn to for safety and without being shown examples from that carer, it's not at all surprising that some were too shy to get involved and attempt the language barriers. This all changed however as soon as the Karate Gi's were put on during the final day, there was nothing stopping both sides from communicating and enjoying their usual weekly activity that brought them together in the first place.
From a Photographers point of view, there were many brilliant photo opportunities that came about, with both adults and children struggling from physical disability such as being hard of hearing, paraplegic etc and others who have mental/learning difficulties. To see everyone having fun playing badminton, going bowling, kanu-ing and interacting with wildlife was truly something else to be a part of. One could almost describe as a family built up from a wider community, evidence in my opinion that this form of rehabilitation works wonders for everyone - shy mainstream people too. This was also brought to my attention when I a passer by spoke to me on our last day, sharing her opinion of how wonderful it is to see such a huge group of people in the same boat, having a place such as Center Parcs to go and get away from everyday life.