Mercedes mother, Vanessa, shares a story about her daughter and the Hockey 4 All program.
I just wanted to express my appreciation for Hockey 4 All and all it has done for my daughter. Mercedes has spina bifida and autism which you would think would limit her options for great holiday fun, but since Hockey 4 All came along, she has participated in the clinics for all school holidays and keeps asking for more.
It's sometimes tricky for Mercedes to integrate with the other kids due to their intimidation of her physical ability whilst others struggle with her autism. I was amazed at what I saw during the July hockey sessions at Joondalup Lakers Hockey Club. Christo and Josh were Mercedes' group leaders and coaches. They 'absorbed' her into the group of neuro-typical kids and immediately placed high expectations on her which was excellent. She blended well, accepted responsibility for her own learning, joined in the jokes and fun times and really rose to the occasion when it came to games.
By the third day I was nowhere near her, she didn’t need prompting and just kept playing and playing and playing. Her motivation was intrinsic which is a rare thing is for Mercedes. I was so proud of her and grateful for the opportunity and experience she was having. The final day she was on her feet for the entire session - also a rarity for Mercedes. She often requires rest breaks to relax her back and legs but when I offered them, she said she was fine and having fun. I nearly cried with delight.
So thank you - and we look forward to the next lot of clinics.