Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Vancouver girl with Down syndrome fights to play soccer

There's been an outpouring of generosity and goodwill for an 11-year old Vancouver girl who has a passion for soccer but was told she could not take part in games because she has Down syndrome.

Sadie Gates said she loves soccer and is excited about having the chance to put on a uniform. Sadie Gates said she loves soccer and is excited about having the chance to put on a uniform.
I am glad to hear it. I would have liked the story to have taken this a little further however and named the official and the organisation which made this appalling decision
the coach told her Sadie could practise but not play on game days because she would be a liability to the team

The coach is just a parent who is volunteering. I strongly doubt that anyone in the association (or whatever society is actually running these teams) has actually told this person not to admit children with disabilities. And don't you love the use of that word "liability" - it sounds so legal and official, doesn't it? But what did the coach actually mean? That their insurance premiums might go up? Or that they might lose a few games?

One of the most disgusting things I ever saw when one of my children started to take part in organized amateur sport, was the ejection of a parent from a game for arguing with the coach. No surprise about that, eh? Well, this was T ball - and the kids were 5 years old! We regularly have incidents where hockey Mums and Dads get into altercations over "ice time" for their ten year olds. Many parents seem to believe that a sports scholarship is the only way to get their kid into post secondary education, and other children are simply obstructions on their way to that goal.

For shame

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