Paralympic champion swimmer Ernie Gawilan
Paralympic champion swimmer Ernie Gawilan takes a break from training to meet aspiring swimmers of the Toyota Start Your Impossible campaign. Credits to TMP.

Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ernie Gawilan met the kid athletes of the Toyota swim clinic to inspire them to pursue careers in sports despite difficulties.

The Asian Para Games gold medallist met with the young athletes of the Toyota Motor Philippines’ (TMP) Start Your Impossible swim clinic for the Mobility for All campaign of the motor company.

Gawilan, who recently won the 2019 World Para Swimming World Series Silver Medal winner of the 400m Freestyle Finals in Singapore, is training to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

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TMP’s Start Your Impossible ambassador Ernie Gawilan shared to the Toyota swim clinic trainees how he overcame his disability to become a champion swimmer for the Philippines.

The Filipino paralympic swimmer was working as a housekeeper in Samal Island, Davao del Norte when he was seen swimming in the ocean during his freetime by swimming coach Jude Corpuz.

The aspiring swimmers aged 6 to 14 at the Toyota 10-day swim clinic were treated to Gawilan’s demonstration of some of his swimming techniques. Credits to TMP.

Coach Corpuz took Gawilan into the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) team. The training led him to compete at the 2008 Philippine Olympic Festival. His performance earned him an invitation to the national team from gold medallist Arnel Aba. Gawilan has since competed in various games, bringing pride to the Philippines.

The aspiring swimmers aged 6 to 14 at the Toyota 10-day swim clinic were treated to Gawilan’s demonstration of some of his swimming techniques. Philippine Para-Athlete Swim Team coach Tony Ong accompanied the paralympic champion.

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The swim clinic is part of the Start Your Impossible global initiative that helps empower people and communities to spark change through the power of mobility.

“We started this program to help the children take the first step in pursuing their dreams. Just like how our Start Your Impossible Hero Ernie Gawilan started his athletic journey with humble beginnings, we hope that we have inspired the kids to continue and persevere after finishing our program,” says TMP Vice President for Marketing Services Elijah Marcial in a media statement received by Good News Pilipinas.

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The global campaign Start Your Impossible marks “Toyota’s global direction of transitioning from an automotive manufacturer to a mobility company with the ultimate vision: Mobility for All.

“The campaign highlights stories of Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are in continuous pursuit of excellence through hard work and determination without being limited by the challenges.”

Toyota swim clinic kids graduate and receive recognitions. Credits to TMP.

Toyota has pledged to support multiple advocacies leading up to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

SEND encouraging cheers in the comments below for paralympic gold medallist Ernie Gawilan and the Toyota swim clinic kids for championing Filipino spirit in athletics!

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