Soccer has at all times been a big a part of Jamey’s life. As a longtime Particular Olympics Saint Kitts and Nevis athlete, Jamey grew up taking part in soccer at college and in his local people. He additionally was a member of the Particular Olympics Saint Kitts and Nevis nationwide soccer crew and traveled across the Caribbean competing in soccer tournaments.
Now, at age 33, time constraints forestall Jamey from taking part in soccer as he did throughout his faculty days. As a Particular Olympics Saint Kitts and Nevis board member, a consultant of the Particular Olympics Caribbean Athlete Management Council and a mechanic for the Saint Christopher Air and Seaport Authority, Jamey has an array of duties that restrict his time for having fun with the sport. Nonetheless, lately, Jamey created a technique to apply his ardour for soccer by main a undertaking that supplied new alternatives for the following technology of athletes by way of Particular Olympics Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Jamey is a graduate of the Cotton Thomas Complete Faculty, a particular training faculty within the capital metropolis of Basseterre. In collaboration along with his mentor, Clive, a fellow Particular Olympics Saint Kitts and Nevis board member, Jamey organized a Caribbean Athlete Management undertaking that introduced collectively 8 college students from Cotton Thomas and 12 college students from the close by Irish City Main Faculty for a 6-week-long Unified soccer program.
Jamey’s inclusive thought for the Unified soccer program was to supply college students at his alma mater the prospect to develop their soccer expertise whereas concurrently making new pals. Jamey knew the scholars with mental disabilities at Cotton Thomas had by no means performed in a soccer recreation with college students with out mental disabilities at Irish City. Jamey hoped his undertaking would assist folks in his group break down the stigma hooked up to folks enrolled at particular training faculties, and as an alternative encourage folks to develop bonds by way of their frequent curiosity in soccer.
The scholars from Cotton Thomas and Irish City got here collectively twice every week after faculty to take part in power and conditioning coaching, soccer drills and crew constructing classes. Jamey led every observe with two fellow coaches and because of a partnership with the Saint Kitts and Nevis Soccer Affiliation, the Unified soccer gamers had entry to ample sports activities tools.
As with all new expertise, it took a while for the scholars from the 2 faculties to develop friendships with each other. Jamey found that the duties of being a undertaking chief have been fairly difficult as he led the classes and deliberate actions for college students with totally different talent ranges and personalities.
After 12 classes, the undertaking was accomplished. Reflecting on his work, Jamey was happy with the scholars’ improved soccer expertise and new-found friendships. “[My favorite part] was seeing the friendships develop; on the taking part in area they have been one crew,” he mentioned. “It was good seeing the scholars present up and observe and play with one another. It was difficult, however enjoyable! They have been very energetic girls and boys who by no means appeared to tire,” Jamey added.
The scholars from Cotton Thomas and Irish City celebrated the tip of the undertaking with a Unified soccer match and an awards ceremony, however the crew members are wanting to proceed taking part in video games with each other. With the current launch of its Unified Champion Colleges program, supported by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ), Particular Olympics Saint Kitts and Nevis plans to work with its native companions to increase Unified soccer not solely in Cotton Thomas and Irish City, but additionally in different faculties across the nation.
In an handle to the scholars and their households on the undertaking’s awards ceremony, Ivor Blake, the Nationwide Director of Particular Olympics Saint Kitts and Nevis, shared that Jamey’s work will help the nation in reaching extra college students of all skills. “We’re right here due to Jamey’s dream, which is now a actuality… the teachings discovered from this undertaking might be put in place for the [Unified Champion Schools] program,” Ivor mentioned.
Jamey’s mentor, Clive, shared his pleasure in witnessing Jamey’s management skills thrive in the course of the Unified soccer classes. “[Jamey’s] development was evident in his communication, independence, and self-confidence,” mentioned Clive. “He’s a real ambassador for Particular Olympics and for Saint Kitts and Nevis,” Clive added.
Shifting ahead, Jamey hopes this profitable undertaking will encourage youthful Particular Olympics athletes to share their skills—not simply at college, but additionally with different native soccer groups of their communities. He believes that when the message of Unified soccer is put into observe, folks can present how a standard love of sport can deliver everybody collectively, it doesn’t matter what their skills are. “I encourage my fellow Particular Olympics athletes to develop into extra concerned of their group groups. I believe beginning [Unified] Applications in faculties will pave the best way for extra inclusion in group and nationwide groups,” he mentioned.