As children of a former professional soccer player, Ava, Bailey and Cole Doherty are natural athletes. Bailey, 5, was born with Down syndrome and loves to climb, run and jump. That's just her personality. She plays with her older sister Ava, 7, and younger brother Cole, 2, regularly.
When Brian and his wife Sarah heard about a program designed to teach kids with and without intellectual disabilities foundational sport skills, they signed up right away.
"[Young Athletes] is a great fit," said Brian. "For my oldest, it’s a good opportunity to interact with kids of different abilities. Bailey and Cole are at similar abilities levels and they love the physical activities. It's perfect."
After one Young Athletes session, the family was hooked. But they struggled finding a local program after the one they attended closed. That's when this father of three children (all under the age of eight) decided to become a site coordinator for the community surrounding Sheboygan.
"I'm not a teacher and it's been a really long time since I've coached, but all it takes is time and motivation," he said. "The materials are well laid out."
Brian said the time he's donated to starting up the program is peanuts compared to the benefits his family has seen.
“All the moments are inspirational,” he said. “For example, to look at our lives and the things that challenge or frustrate us and then watch [the kids] do something simple like run around the cone and back as fast as they can with a smile. It’s not the big things, it’s the tiny, little things that are humbling, so very humbling.”
Have you ever considered becoming a Young Athletes Site Coordinator? Contact Krysten Kirsch for details.