If you have a child with a disability, you know that it is exceedingly difficult to find a place for playing soccer, basketball, or really any sport. When our son Vic was younger, it was rather easy for him to join a team; but quickly, it became impossible for him to stay on the team. He would understand the rules of the game in his own unique way and even though the other kids liked him, they found him kind of “weird” and as expectations for performance increased, he was not a good interactive player. So, we stopped the soccer. And for several years, Vic was not part of any collective team sport. What we would have loved to find was a recreational team that accepted kids even if they were not good at the specific sport.
When he began middle school, his appetite for sports was growing even larger, as is the case for many teenagers: they play sport, they talk sport, they wear their favorite team shirt. Vic was asking us frequently why he wasn’t on a team like some of his friends. Luckily, through the school, we heard about ODS! We immediately engaged him with the team and Vic was so happy to play basketball and soccer, and make friends. His self-confidence and self-esteem improved a lot, his physical skills improved week after week, and on the social end, he is so proud to say he has friends. ODS is much more than sport. ODS is a family of fabulous people. It starts with Coach Sarah, whose energy, kindness and open-mindedness is contagious. It ends with the fantastic peer buddies, remarkable young men and women, who make our kids feel like they are on a real team. We are so grateful to Sarah and all the beautiful people at ODS who are supporting our son, his social and physical growth, and for providing the fun! Thank you so much! - Anais and Lionel Chailleux, Vic's parents
With your help, ODS can keep providing opportunities for physical, social, and emotional growth for kids with special needs in our local community. We see every child's potential and work to help them maximize it.