I photographed the first swim session at the 2013 Australian Age Group Multi-Disability Swimming Championships here in Adelaide. It was the same old routine, my pictures were looking the same. I got so bored so quickly. Then I spotted Nikaiya Payne, a very shy 11yo Aboriginal girl from Katherine in the Northern Territory. She was so so pretty. And I then noticed her prosthetic leg. It was hand carved from wood, a torn stocking, so I assumed that her family perhaps didnt have the money to by her one of the high tech prothesis. But her XFactor attracted me, and I wanted to photograph her. I asked her coach and she had to call her family in Katherine for permission.
While I waited for a reply, I noticed that there were so many more athletes there with an Xfactor. Children ranging from 11 to 18, all different shapes and sizes, all with a different disability.
And it suddenly hit me that they were all superheroes. So I asked Swimming Australia if I could dump doing all the pool action photos and make these kids feel special. Because they are. I wanted to portray them as Heroes. Swimming Australia loved the idea and let me loose.
All images shot by Delly Carr on a Nikon D4.
The athletes felt like superheroes that day. I didn’t know that at the time but it was the day that I made a difference in their life. They all had smiles on their faces. And that put a massive smile on my face too.