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Winter 2001 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

A Proud Mom

By Ann Elliott, Parent, Wichita Falls, Texas
ELLTANN@juno.com 

My husband, Dale, and I had the privilege of accompanying our son, Caleb, to Irving, Texas for Sports Extravaganza, October 13 &14, 2000. Caleb is blind; therefore, he was eligible to participate in the sporting events. He was in the 10-12 age group. The events for this group included 100 meter run, 50 meter run, and 25 meter run. They also competed in standing broad jump, beep ball find, softball throw, hitting a beep ball off a T, and some areas of goal ball.

This event, following on the heels of the Australian Olympics, did not pale in comparison. I was moved to see the pride and the effort put forth by every athlete. It was obvious they had done a great deal of preparation. The coaches and the officials took their jobs very seriously. They expected a lot from the athletes and were not disappointed. The rewards for the hard work came when awards were presented. The proud athletes took their rightful positions on the podium and were presented with Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. Fourth place received a ribbon. It was very moving to see the pride on the faces of all the children. This was an environment where they could compete with their peers, and "may the best one win." It did not matter that some were blind, visually impaired, or even in wheelchairs. Every one put forth their greatest effort and was rewarded. One of the greatest rewards was the boost in self-esteem!

The goal ball tournament for the older athletes was held on Friday night. The competition was fierce with every team playing as hard as possible. There were teams from as far away as the New Mexico School for the Blind.

Caleb came home with three silver medals, two bronze medals and one ribbon. He has shared these with his sixth grade class and a kindergarten class where he is a mentor. Every child was properly impressed. I don't think I have ever seen such a sense of pride in my child. He competed as hard as he knew how and was rewarded.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff, the Lions Club of Irving for furnishing such a fine lunch, and all the teachers who accompanied the athletes and cheered them on. Without all of you, this event would not be possible. Without you, many children would not have been able to travel to Irving. Without you, our kids would not be where they are today. Thank you!!


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