Here at The Leadership Center, we get to be a part of some really great moments: weddings, anniversaries, baptisms, etc. We cherish the fact that we get to be a part of these. While I love these really wonderful and obvious events, my favorite events are the ones that I never expect.
To explain, this past weekend we had the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired here for their semi-annual Winnerfest event which consists of 14-18 year olds from all over the state who have a visual impairment. We look forward to having them here because they are a wonderful group to be around and we have gotten to know the kids and love meeting the new ones.
Traditionally, Winnerfest teaches the kids job skills and life skills in preparation for when they are out on their own. This last Winnerfest was a little bit different. They focused on health and fitness and how to sustain a healthy lifestyle. I have to admit that I have been blessed with fairly decent eyesight; mind you contacts/glasses are required on a daily basis, so being able to witness these kids learning the sport of *goalball with a visual impairment was completely inspiring.
Watching these kids learn how to play a sport and rely on the other 4 senses they possess while working together as a team was really incredible. I was completely invigorated when I came back into the office after watching them learn the basics.
Those with all 5 of their senses tend to take the things such as playing a sport for granted. We don’t stop to think about those who aren’t as fortunate as we are and what they are missing out on that we get to enjoy. These ordinary events turn into out of ordinary experiences for me because I have the opportunity to experience something I don’t get to every day and it allows me to broaden my horizons. These events are a breath of fresh air to me and remind me of why I love what I do.
*Goalball was developed specifically for visually impaired athletes. It was devised in 1946 as a rehabilitation aid to those who were injured in World War II. Now it is a Paralympic sport played all around the world. Check out this video of goalball to see more about the sport.