Charlie has Down Syndrome. He has been attending Lolly Jar Circus since it began in October 2013. He had already trained in gymnastics and easily made the switch to circus. His tumbling and balancing is amazing. He is very strong and flexible.
Charlie showed such promise in both his circus skills and his leadership of other participants that in July 2015 we employed him as a trainee trainer. We were so proud of Charlie that we nominated him for the inaugural Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association (ACAPTA) “Spirit of Circus” Award, which he won in November 2015. ACAPTA has since folded, so Charlie is in fact the one and only winner of this award. As part of his prize he travelled to Melbourne to attend trapeze workshops with Circus Oz.
Charlie loves attending Lolly Jar every week, sometimes as a participant and others as a paid or voluntary trainer. He continues to learn new skills. He can hula hoop 6 hoops at a time and is becoming very good at flower sticks. He has also learned some great performance skills and is the Ringmaster for our performances.
In addition, Charlie’s mother Angela says that he has improved his verbal communication and social skills, learned responsibility and work ethic. He often leads the class warm-up games and stretching exercises. He works cooperatively with the other trainers and loves making the young participants feel welcome and comfortable. Charlie has used his experiences with Lolly Jar to help complete his Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Diezel has cerebral palsy that affects the right side of his body and his speech. Since he was one, Diezel has had to work extremely hard with many different therapies to keep his muscles from tightening, to walk, talk, eat and undertake daily tasks. His parents searched for therapies that would keep him engaged and be fun. They found that “and so much more” at Lolly Jar Circus.
Diezel’s mother Laura says,
“To, Diezel, Lolly Jar Circus is super fun, but to us as parents, we know it is helping to strengthen his core, make him stronger and increase his confidence in ways we never imagined.
Lolly Jar Circus has given us hope to believe that anything is possible, no matter what your limitations may be. Most people see what is and never see what can become… but together with his fabulous trainer Jono, Diezel has built enormous trust and confidence, achieving circus tricks we never imagined possible.
Thank you, Lolly Jar Circus, for letting our Diezel FLY HIGH!!!”