Are you without limits?

It has been a super massive week or two but it has also been super, super cool! Sometimes I wonder though, if other 11 year olds have as many questions in their heads as I do (hahaha). My question at the moment for all of who care to read what I write is….
Are you without limits?
The reason that I am thinking about this is because I am trying understand why it seems that a lot of people do have limits and why I am expected to?
In August last year I had an idea. At the time I didn’t really know what my “Really Big Idea” was going to translate into and I also didn’t know or really think that to much would come out of it, but what I did know was that I wasn’t happy about the way things were going, especially when it came to the way both adults and kids treated one on the soccer field and at school when it came to me needing to think outside of the box so that I could participate. I want to share with you a bit of what I wrote about how was feeling at the time, and why.  This is part of a letter that I wrote and sent to some very special people in the football world, asking for their help. This letter was specifically sent to the a very special lady, Heather Reid, CEO of Capital Football. Now wont put the whole thing here because it was very, very long, and this is going to be a long blog as it is, but don’t worry the important parts will be included 🙂
“I have thinking lots lately as you about ways that I might be able to encourage others, I want to encourage other kids in particular but even more again I want to encourage kids that have disabilities, impairments or other things going on that make them think they cant do stuff.”  
I have had a lot of time between being off school because of migraines and different Dr’s appointments and tests to have a really good think. I am glad that it has all settled down and I am glad that we know what can and cant be done, but one of the problems that I have come across is that I don’t fit into many of the categories that the Doctor’s or even sports teams use.”
my team mates are struggling with my audible ball. I don’t think I should have to ask to use it, but then maybe I should if my vision impairment affects others? And then there is the other problem of disability football in Canberra, there is no blind football league in Canberra, yes there is a league that includes people with Cerebral Palsy and maybe I think things like down syndrome, but I don’t have those problems. And even if there was a kids blind/low vision football league I wouldn’t fit into their rules either.”
Its the same with girls verses boys in sport, the boys at my school think they are so much than us girls, (I want to find the rules in audio format so that I can teach them a thing or two), but they think that because they are get to participate in far more than we do on different teams. Why do boys think they are better anyway?” 
“I think that their are a lot of people that need to change there way of thinking, why should anyone have to fit into someone else idea of who can or cant play football? ” 
“I was originally thinking of doing some kind of fundraiser for Vision Australia, but after talking to Mum and writing a lot of this stuff down I actually think there is something more important than that that I want this to be about. I want this to be about inclusion, I want everyone to know that everyone should be able to play. And when I was talking to you I was talking about doing a 24 hour Soccerathon, But after doing some research I actually think it would be great to a soccerathon that breaks the Guinness world record, cause the last record was set by boys.”
Now I have to tell you I didn’t actually think I would get a reply, I certainly didn’t think I would get reply directly from Heather herself. But then, why shouldn’t I? This is the point of this blog. Mum had originally suggested that I should write a list of my ideas and why’s behind them, I think secretly she was trying to slow me down a bit from hitting the ‘send’ button. She also suggested that because I was run down and hadn’t been feeling to great that maybe it would all be a bit to big for me to handle as well dealing with managing my headaches and school and vision stuff. And maybe she is a little be right be maybe she is a it wrong too. 
I don’t want to be the kid that listens when someone says “oh I don’t think you will be able to do that or that will really hard for you because you have low vision”. I mean why should I have to be that kid? And why should anybody else have to either? The fact is that they shouldn’t. 
For those of you that don’t know I use twitter and now Facebook as well. In the last few weeks while I have been organising FEVER I have been thinking about who might be able to help me promote things so figured apart from Heather Reid and Capital Football, she said yes by the way 🙂 and my own club Tuggeranong United, I thought twitter and Facebook would be good places to start. 
So… firstly I sent a msg to David Campbell asking for his help and if he could come and perform. I loooove David Campbell. Now don’t get too excited cause he cant come, but the point is that he REPLIED! the other point is that that is someone else that I reached, someone else that received the inclusion msg 🙂 A msg was also sent to Kasey Chambers, I haven’t heard back from directly after sending a msg on Facebook, but her management team REPLIED, and again she cant make it either but thats ok cause again even if Kasey Chambers doesn’t know about someone in her office received the inclusion msg 🙂 I also tweeted the funniest lady on the planet, yep thats right ELLEN DEGENERES!! I asked Ellen to ‘follow’ me. Now of course she isn’t yet, but that is no surprise to me simply because she is Ellen, and I have not doubt she has heaps of people ask her for help in doing stuff, but she had tweeted a photo about her hosting the Oscar’s. Now I figure if she is good enough to that then she would be qualified enough to host FEVER right? So I asked her, don’t worry though I tell her she wouldn’t be able to do it in a suit 🙂 Now Ellen probably won’t ‘follow’ me and she probably wont take my request about hosting FEVER seriously either, but guess what?! Ellen clicked on the link and looked at my, (that right a little kid from Canberra) blog!!
Again another person who has received the inclusion msg 🙂
Now imagine this… Most people who are on Twitter on on Facebook have anywhere between 0 and thousands of friends/followers. Imagine if everyone one you shared FEVER with even 10 people. That would hundreds of thousands of people that would receive the inclusion msg!
I was speaking to a new but very thoughtful, kind and wise friend the other day, who made the comment that she thinks I am inspirational. I asked her why she thought that and she said that it was because she should I was fearless. I was a bit surprised by her comment because of course I have fears. My fears aren’t of things like spiders and bugs though they are more of things like not be able achieve the best I can because of limits, my fears are about not being able to do some of things I used to do because of my vision being different now. I guess this is part of my frustration with some people. You see I am meant to have limits that I didn’t choose, but many people I know have them because they choose to have them. I guess this is other point that I want to make. 
and what about wanting to talk to David, Kasey or Ellen or Heather… or being friends with people from the Matilda’s or Canberra United players, or ex Matilda’s or, Moya Dodd, or the Tuggeranong United Football Club Committee… what about wanting to reach out to Pink’s or Katy Perry’s of the world…
I am not just a kid that happens to have friends with important names, I not just a kid that wants to know these professional athletes and celebrities so that I can feel important. In fact I find the whole attention thing on me really hard and challenging, because its not about me its about the change that I believe needs to happen.
Do I think that they would ever really take part? No I don’t.
Do I expect them too because I think everyone has a part to play in this msg? Absolutely!
Do i think that everyone does no matter if they are famous or some kid at my school? Yes Yes and Yes!
Why should I choose to put a limit on myself by not bothering to ask them for their help? Because really the moment I choose to limit myself I also place limits on others. 
I guess at the end of the day this is what the message of inclusion is all about, this what FEVER is all about. It’s about opening up choices and opportunities, its about encouraging others, its about everyone being treated with the same respect as one another! It’s about making sure that we don’t Dis one another’s Abilities.
So.. I challenge you to live with out limits 🙂
Register yourself and a team for FEVER.
Experience playing as a vision impaired person on blind football field.
Share this message with ten friends minimum.
And live expecting respect and expecting people to take part in changing something.
Claire 🙂

why are Mum’s ALWAYS right??!!

I know I haven’t blogged for a really long time but the last term at school last year was so so busy! but it was mostly all good. The only way i can get my head around everything that has been happening is to write a list and go from there. My Mum is a list writer maybe I get it from her but if I didn’t have a last last term I don’t think I would have achieved so much! So I am sitting here with my cup of tea and think you should do the same because I think this going to be a really really really long one!

Number 1 on the list is … Capital Football Summer Skills Program

You might have noticed in my last few posts that I was becoming very upset and frustrated with myself and with others about playing football. I know that a lot of the time I say don’t give up, I say never say die, and I say that you can always pick yourself up, but I felt so down about myself and the my vision impairment I was serious;y thinking about not playing football this year. It was more out of frustration than anything because I love it so much and i hate the idea of not being the best i can be in things. One of things I really struggle with and still really struggle with is using my different vision aides. For example its hard to feel comfortable using my audible ball, firstly because of course it rattles and its different, and so people both kids and adults ask questions. Why is it that just because something is different people have to ask questions. and lets say a kids says why do you need that I and tell them that its because I have low vision or a vision impairment, they then still have more questions after that.

My low vision is complicated its a case of being ale to see or not being able to see its a case of my perception being different to others. What am I meant to say? do I  say “Yes yes I can see the ball, I just don’t know how far away it is how fast it is coming towards me oh and happens to look flat.”?

And there is the problem with adults. Adults get so stuck on things. I think adults find it even more difficult to cope with change than kids do. Aren’t adults meant to be better at making things easier for kids? Sometimes I try to get brave and explain to adults when things are tricky to to see, I might explain that a particular pen at school works better or that if I play left back on overcast day its easier verses on a sunny day wing or right back is better because that is when i can take in a wider view of the field, or it could be something as simple as can we use white cones on green turf cause it makes the boundary easier to see. The difference between adults and kids is that with kids you mostly only have to say things once but with adults you have to remind them again and again and again. Why does this have to be so hard, why does it have to be a battle?

Yes I can use a normal ball, yes I can play without white cones, yes of course I can use a regular pen (just don’t ask me to read it back to you) its just that when I do I have to work so much harder than everyone else to achieve the same level of excellence that they do.

This is where Capital football skills training came into things. I was feeling so upset about these challenges that Mum and Kel suggested that I could do the clinic in Term 4 yes to learn new skills and have the training but even more to use the time to work ways to use a regular ball in a different environment with players and coaches I didn’t know.

Basically they threw me in the deep end! Not see me struggle but to help me work out which areas were a struggle and how to get through them. We talk a lot about using the environment around me, about letting my eyes rest, about using my body in different ways, and a lot about slowing down and concentrating on ball control. I didn’t use my audible ball at all, in fact the ball was terrible to try and and see cause it was an awful white and grey colur. the boundary cones were a mix of colours, and we all had white jerseys on. about the easiest thing to see was our bright yellow socks! and each and every week except for maybe one was hot and had a terrible glare coming of the turf. I had lots of weeks when i would fall asleep in the car on the way or just had t lay down afterwards because I was so vision fatigued I couldn’t do anything else, there was even one week where i couldn’t go because i had one my stupid migraines.

And then it happened… one week after training, Mum could see that it had been really really hard, and tried to talk to me to see if she could help with anything. I kinda lost it, I cried and yelled and cried some more, and then she said something really harsh but really true to me.  She said “Claire I love you very much but this rot has to stop now. You have a low vision impairment, it sucks and its shitty (I still cant believe she said that!) you can continue on being angry about it and thinknig you should be able to do things the way everyone else does, or can you can wake up to yourself and work out that you cant.” she also said “that doesn’t mean that you cant do anything and everything that the next person can Claire because you can do anything your heart desires, it simply means that you need to work out how do it differently and still do your best. yes it will mean that you have have to work harder at somethings, or take a little longer but the choice is yours Claire you can do a half arsed job (cant believe she said that either, my Mum was really mad!) doing things the same way others do or you can be incredible by doing it your way!”

I cant ever remember a time where my Mum has spoken to me like that before but after I finished being angry with her cooled of and had a think about it, I know she is right, so this year in 2014, I am going to concentrate on being Claire 🙂

Hopefully I will be able to spend more time filling you in on more of the list over the next few weeks because I have some ver very exciting news!

have a great day,

Claire 🙂


Play by the Rules!

I have been reading, watching the news and hearing, a lot lately about professional sports people and teams that are getting themselves in big of trouble. I don’t really understand how they can though. I play sport, for the most part I play football, but I also participate at school in Cricket, AFL, Rugby, and I do triathlons and running events. But every sport I play, their are rules. So why is it and how is that people are getting themselves into such big trouble? Because they don’t need to be.

I find it frustrating because rules are rules, they are there for a reason no matter what sport you play.

Take football for example, yes sometimes there is a bit of love and shove, but that doesn’t mean we (my team mates and opponents) get up and thump one another, we don’t secretly change the score, and we definitely don’t do drugs to help us play better (we are naturally awesome).

Why? Because it isn’t the right thing to do, and because it’s against the rules. My point is… Keep it simple people.

  • Respect you ref’s, coaches, team mates and opposition
  • Be fair
  • Be forgiving
  • Be a good sport
  • Have fun 🙂

How hard can it be?

Claire 🙂

What do we reflect?

The crest is the highest place on the wave. Waves have a frequency or number that pass a particular point per second. When the wave the length is increases the frequency decreases.

There are 7 types of magnetic waves. These include radio waves, micro waves, infrared waves, visible light, ultra violet light, x-rays and gamma rays.

Most waves are invisible to us. The colours that we can see are red, yellow, orange, green, blue, indigo and violet. Well actually people can see many other different colours those are just some of them. But the reason we can see them is because objects absorb different amounts of light energy. The grass looks green because it absorbs different colours, but we see green because that is what it reflects.

This is part of a speech I gave for my homework at school last week, but it got me thinking…

If the colour we see is the colour we see because it is a reflection of the light absorbed by that particular object, and colour no matter which colour we are talking about is beautiful, imagine what would happen if we as people absorbed as much positive light and energy as we possibly could?

Can you even imagine the beauty that we could then reflect?

I love reflecting good and beautiful things especially when it means someone’s day can be a little bit better.

Claire 🙂