Site navigation

Change font size: SmallerLargerReload

follow us   facebook icon: Clicking on this is going to open the Graeme Innes' facebook page in a new window twitter icon: Clicking on this is going to open the Graeme Innes' twitter page in a new window youtube icon: Clicking on this is going to AHRC's YouTube page in a new window flickr icon: Clicking on this is going to open AHRC's flickr page in a new window something in common icon: Clicking on this is going to open the Something in Common website in a new window

Video Transcript

Back to video

Let me win

NARRATOR: Sekou Kanneh sprints the 100 metres in under 12 seconds.

He's beating everyone in his age group.

INTERPRETER: I'm 12 years old and I come from Liberia, in Africa.

This is my mum.

My mum is always telling me not to comb my hair.

This is my school.

I feel fully included because it's a bilingual school.

They use sign language and English.

-INTERPRETER 2: You're not sore?

-INTERPRETER 1: No, I'm good.

Yeah, he's got a lot of skill.

He always shocks me.

It's like, I've always got a few doubts about him,
but every year, he manages to surprise me.

He's constantly improving, one second every year.

He's got the talent, he's got the discipline, but how can you hope to be the best when you can't hear the starter's gun?

Everyone's trying to get the best time.

I want to try and beat other people and break my personal record.

Every second really counts.

He takes his cue from the others on the start line.

What he needs is a flashing light.

What I did was, I looked at the people on either side of me and watched their legs,

and when they took off, I'd take off after them.

But I'd have to look at them to know what to do.

I think it's not been very fair to me, because I can't hear the starter's pistol.

It's very hard for me in races.

It's a bit of a disadvantage.


I want to be involved.

I want everything to be the same, and they said no.

I felt really sad and lonely and down.

GRAEME INNES: He's not asking for anything special, anything different or anything better than anyone else.

All he's asking for is to be advised or told when the race starts
so that he can have an equal shot at winning.

We kept fighting and fighting and fighting, and everyone kept saying no, but I was very stubborn.

I wanted the flashing light.

Sekou lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

GRAEME INNES: His message is clear.

"Why should I be treated any differently

"because I can't hear the gun go bang at the start of a race?"

And now...

..I won, and they said,

"Yes, we can have a flashing light,"

so I can compete in the races like everybody else.

Any athlete needing a flashing starter light can now ask for one.

Sekou's complaint was quickly resolved through the Human Rights Commission
conciliation process.

It was positive and quick, exactly like Sekou.