Hoist the sails as Li teaches kids about yaughting
A group of autistic children learnt to cooperate and communicate with others through yachting in Zhangzhou, Fujian province. [Photo by Tang Zhichao/ for chinadaily.com.cn]
A group of autistic children learnt to cooperate and communicate with others through yachting in Zhangzhou, Fujian province.
Accompanied by their parents, volunteers and the coach Li Liyong, children, wearing life jackets, boarded a yacht one day in late August. With guidance of Li, children cooperated to untie the rope, hoist the sails and steer. With the yacht leaving the shore, they adjusted their sitting posture with change of the direction and speed of the yacht.
Li, 39, learnt yachting from eight years old, and was a national yachting team athlete. In 2013, he visited a special education school and contacted autistic children for the first time.
"The ocean and yachting give me power, but will it also take them out of a closed spiritual world?" Li said.
Nobody supported his idea because the sport has risks, especially concerning children. Li didn't give up. He visited several schools and read materials about how to deal with autistic children.