Partially blind brothers share passion for skateboarding

Fifteen and 11-year-old brothers Abdul and Mo Syed are perfecting their skateboarding skills at their local skate park in Canberra, Australia.

“Ready? When I say jump, we jump. Ready, 3, 2, 1 jump. We got it together!” says Abdul to his brother Mo.

The boys have a genetic eye condition called cone-rod dystrophy which causes progressive blindness.

They started skateboarding two years ago.

“So basically we can’t see long range or short range, so it’s kind of like a mix of both and we’re partially color blind. So it affects colors a lot. It’s kind of hard to deal with sometimes,” says Abdul.

But it hasn’t held them back in the skate park.

“It was actually not as hard at the start, I did fall one time while learning, but I learnt in about 15 minutes and then I taught Mo in like a month,” says Abdul.

And their passion has only grown.

“I do really enjoy it; I guess it’s kind of who I am to be honest. It’s fun but at the same time it can also be scary at times, cause you’re not really able to see what you’re trying to do, but you know what you’re trying to do,” says Abdul.

Abdul uses his cane to guide him.

“The key idea is that I use my cane to kind of feel around a little bit of like what the surface is, how high the ramp is and all that and then I kind of try to adjust accordingly,” says Abdul.

“I don’t even use my cane, I already know the park pretty well,” says Mo.

“If they want to take chances, we are happy to you know support them. I know it’s a big world, the big world is waiting for them and I want them to grow up to that, to the challenges,” says their dad Anwar.

“We play cricket, soccer, basketball, handball, that’s a sport we play at school,” say Abdul and Mo.

They have big dreams, hoping one day to take their skateboarding to a competitive level.

“Once I improve a lot more, then definitely. It’s a better way to practice what I’ve already learnt and learn a lot more along the way,” says Abdul.

And their message to others is clear.

“All legends fall before rising,” says Mo.

“That’s a quote that he got from me, but I definitely recommend it, I recommend it 100 percent. There’s no reason you shouldn’t,” says Abdul.

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