Clarke's skydiving dream

DATE: 24 March 2017

Clarke's skydiving dream

Clarke dreams of being a fashion designer, is a big advocate for people with disabilities and isn’t afraid to take on new challenges: he refuses to let his physical disability get in the way of life.

Clarke dreams of being a fashion designer, is a big advocate for people with disabilities and isn’t afraid to take on new challenges: he refuses to let his physical disability get in the way of life.

Clarke has been attending Yooralla’s Fawkner Community Hub since 2007. He attends five days a week and participates in a variety of programs, including gym and art. Clarke has also been actively involved in other Yooralla programs such as the SpeakTank! public speaking program and peer support groups.

Earlier this year, Clarke followed his dream and finally went skydiving. Yooralla spoke to Clarke about his skydive.

Where did the desire to go skydiving come from?

I’ve always been interested in going skydiving but never thought that I could. I was inspired by my brother, who went skydiving last year and told me all about it afterwards and showed me a video of his skydive.

In that moment, I told myself that I had to follow my dream and go skydiving - I wanted to feel as free as a bird.

What was involved in the planning?

I made a phone call to Skydive Australia and let them know that I have a disability – they said it should be fine for me to go skydiving, but first I would need to get a doctors certificate.  When I went to the doctor and asked for a certificate, she said yes straight away.

I took my certificate to Skydive Australia, filled out some forms and then I was given the date for my dive.

I was very emotional – whenever I thought about doing my skydive, I felt a rush through my body.

What happened on the day of your dive?

I took my dive in the afternoon and was accompanied by an entourage that included my mum, my brother and friends from the Hub – my emotions were raging through me.

They dressed me up in my jumpsuit and in that moment I realised that my life-long dream was becoming a reality. They lifted me into the bus and drove us to our destination – Moorabbin Airport.

When we arrived, I had to wait my turn and my whole body was shaking. When the plane finally came, they lifted me onto it and strapped me to my instructor.

At 14,000ft high they opened the door and asked me if I was ready – I, of course, said yes. Then they put my feet out over the edge, said “let’s go!” and we jumped.

What does this mean to you?

It means everything to me because I did it! I didn’t think it was possible, but now I’ve done it.

Yooralla has 17 community hubs across Melbourne where you can meet new people, pursue your own interests or access your local community. Fawkner Community Hub is hosting their Open Day on Thursday, 30 March.

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