Parents, I know you are as impressed with the Paralympic athletes as I am!
Absolutely remarkable displays of power, speed, strength, agility, resolve, and grit: unequivocal athleticism.
I watched them, just as I watched the Olympic athletes, and felt a surge of adrenaline…like I needed to pick up a set of boxing gloves and release my inner athlete.
I realize that’s because these individuals are champions, whether or not they have a disability, and champions inspire us to get in the game.
My hope is your children and my children watched this year’s games and/or listened to the audio descriptions and are inspired to take up a sport, exert their bodies, and gain strength.
While I stated the athletes are champions regardless of disabilities, the fact that the Paralympians do have disabilities hits close to home in our community. And though I’ve heard a handful of Paralympic athletes state they wish to simply enjoy their sport and not be put on a pedestal, I daresay our children with visual impairments need to see skilled athletes who pursued their hobbies into excellence.
They need to see it and we’re watching; we’re celebrating the Rio achievements of blind athletes; and we’re allowing our children to be motivated to get in the game!
Now that our kiddos are motivated, here’s what to do:
- Read FamilyConnect’s blog post, Why and How to Include Your Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired in Sports.
- Consider joining the United States Association of Blind Athletes; your child can meet locals with visual impairments who have similar interests and can participate in sports camps, clinics, and tournaments.
- Take it from this poignant article on Huffington Post, How Not to Cheer at Your Kid’s Games. This is a fantastic article about chilling out on the sidelines and allowing our children to enjoy sports.
So, thanks Paralympians for your dedication to your sport; we want in!