Jonah at the USPNT Camp – CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO ABOVE
If you have been following our blog long, you know all about our son, Jonah’s Journey. If you are not familiar with his story, you can go HERE and read the story WTOL featured on him. They share all that Jonah has already overcome and how he is excelling at the game of soccer.
Because of the story Jordan Strack did, the US Para National Soccer Team asked us to send them game footage of Jonah. After they saw his tape, we heard back from Coach Sharp that he would like Jonah to attend one of their camps.
February 4 through 9th of this year, Jonah went to Lakewood Ranch, Florida where he attended the USPNT Soccer Camp. It was life changing for Jonah. They flew him there, sent him a new pair of Nike cleats, dressed him in the US Soccer clothing, and fed him like a champion. He loved it! Because of this, other doors have opened up for him and he has been invited to play in the World Club Championships in Barcelona, Spain with the CP team June 3 through June 7, 2020.
Jonah is very blessed that he has very limited symptoms from the CP. They are only apparent when he is extremely tired. It it most significant on the right side of his body, mainly right arm and leg. The most significant sign of his CP is in his speech. He knows what he wants to say, but he has a hard time articulating it.
After the camp, Coach Sharp called us and gave us a verbal evaluation of how Jonah did and let us know that Jonah would likely be invited back to future camps. We are so proud of Jonah and all that he has overcome while playing at this level of soccer.
I’ve had a few people reach out to me because they feel this may be putting a target on Jonah. They believe saying Jonah has a disability may not allow him to gain his full potential in the sport. For those of you that are not aware, the US Paralympic National Soccer Team (USPNT) is an elite level program that selects players from across the United States in preparation for International standard competition. In many cases, the conditions mentioned below may result in only minimal levels of motor dysfunction (some not noticeable to the untrained eye).
So many children suffer from CP or stroke and may not be aware of this program. If you know anyone who loves soccer and plays at a high competitive level and who has suffered from a stroke, cerebral palsy, or traumatic brain injury, please have them email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about the US Paralympic National Team.
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