Tag Archive | Moya Dodd

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.
https://www.facebook.com/eyes0fadreamer   https://www.facebook.com/events/449988478456843/
https://twitter.com/eyesofadream  https://eyesofadreamer.wordpress.com/events/
Claire 🙂

What is it worth?

Yesterday was an awesome day, awesome because the the Matilda’s won their game by a penalty shoot out! Awesome because I met Moya Dodd, Danielle Warby from the Women’s Game, Heather Reid and Sarah Walsh. Awesome because I represented my country as the Matilda’s mascot, awesome because I finally had a kick with my audible ball with Sally Shipard, but most importantly awesome because my family and team mates were there watching on and supporting me 🙂 ImageI am very happy that the Matilda’s won because its not just a win for Australia but it is also a win for girls and proves that girls can be just as good at things as boys. It was a very cool day but it was also very very hard because when I watch sport live or on TV it is hard to see and keep track of the ball. Most people can watch and laugh or talk, but I have to concentrate so hard with my other senses like hearing for example to know what is going on. When a goal is scored I can hear the crowd roar but I get a bit lost in the moment until someone can tell me who it was that actually scored and which team it was. The other frustrating thing is that I have to work out what is worth what! After a big day like yesterday I am not very well and last night I was left feeling very tired and with a very big headache. Today I have been mostly sleeping and resting with a very achy head and eyes, I wish I could be at school today doing sport and art, but I know that I just wouldn’t be able to cope with it. I am not sure how I feel or if there is any point in being angry about it, I guess it is just a part of learning to put up with having a vision impairment. I guess we all have to ask ourselves what is worth it and important to us sometimes? But to be there with the Matilda’s encouraging them yesterday, was to me, super important!

Claire :/

What a day! Inspirational?

Wow what a day yesterday was. I wasn’t thinking I would have anything to blog about for a few days! I thought all that was going to happen yesterday was that I would be doing cane training.

Well yesterday Mum asked me what I was up to before the Matilda’s game on the 16th June. I said probably just having a sleep in and relaxing. Then said that she was asked yesterday if I would like to be the team mascot for the Matilda’s and escort the team out onto the field for game day!! Holy Cow! I thought she was kidding but no she was for real!  And then today there was another story by Capital Football.

I am still amazed that people are interested in me, after all, I am just a kid. I didn’t really think that adults listened to kids, boy was wrong!

I have been meeting some very cool people lately, I even met Sally Shipard yesterday. The best part about meeting the new friends that I have over the last few weeks is that they treat me as part of a team, they treat me like I am normal. I love it because thats how I want to be treated 🙂

Some people are calling me inspirational and amazing  although I dont really understand why they think that.

Mum is always saying to us kids “actions have consequences, sometimes good and sometimes bad” she is always saying that if we “lead by example others will follow us”.

Mum’s say all sorts of stuff all the time, but I think I agree with her on that one and I am just really glad that for what ever reason people think I am inspirational, it means that I can help others by my example.

Claire 🙂

My Eyes verses Your Eyes

I thought that because there have been lots of people reading different things about me that I should probably explain what they are talking about when they say I have a vision impairment. I haven’t talked about it much for a few reasons but the mains reasons are that it is very hard for me to talk about, and because I am just a normal kid that wants to be just a normal kid doing normal kid stuff. I didn’t even know for a while that I had a ‘vision impairment’. I mean I have always known that my eyes are dodgy, because they turned sideways and sometimes even up and down and they can sometimes look a bit spooky especially when I am tired.

Things didn’t always look they way that they do now, but I just thought everyone saw things the way I did. I mean its not like you sit around in the playground and compare with your friends they way that things look to you is it? I don’t know about other kids but my friends and I don’t talk about that stuff, we mostly talk about football 🙂 Well okay not just football, but certainly not vision! I have also worn glasses for a really long time, and even contact lenses as well for a while. My family and teachers and Dr’s only worked out how bad things were because I am really good at maths but one day I just couldn’t do my work. Not because I didn’t know how but because I couldn’t work out what I was actually looking at. For example with my maths work, I found out that it was a 3D shape drawn on paper, you might all see a cube but I see a flat square. I know what a cube is because I remember what they used to look like and because I can feel it like with my Rubix Cube, but when I look at it I cant tell the difference. You all see a fence ansd Mum tells you can even see around the corners on it, I see a line, just a line.

Even when I am out and about somewhere, you see people, prams, dogs, playgroungs with swings. They way I see those things is like they are flat but moving. When things are moving I can mostly work out that they are because I can hear them or I can see that at one moment a person is at a shop and then a second later they are at the next shop, but what I cant see is how far away they are or how close. I have a real problem with cars and roads especially if it is very quiet car or if there is a lot of traffic like on the way to school sometimes, I cant tell by hearing cause there are so many, so then I have to use my other senses too. It is very hard and some days it is very tiring and frustrating, but I am learning lots of new thing both with my cane and my environment to help me. Even my football is flat, thats why I am so glad I have my new one because I can hear it. There are things that are hard too, for example water! I just cant see it! Half of time I overfill my cup and spill it, the half of the time I don’t put enough in! very frustrating! The only way I know how full it is , is by sticking my finger in it to feel it. and then there are things where colour blends with colour like at school if there is a green post in front of a green door, I only see the the flat rectangle of the door and next thing smack, I have walked into the post. Or on pathways or roads, I cant see the cracks or the potholes, so I fall over things a bit, well that was before my cane. Or another example if there are stairs and they are not marked, you see stairs to me it looks likes a ramp. Sliding doors at places like shops they are very tricky, you see the door, I see whats on the other side because I cant see the glass! again smack I walk into into it.  Reading and writing are are hard to but we are working on that. I love that I have an ipad now because it means that I can make everything big and bright and contrasting colours. but do you know how hard it is to get good kids e-books for borrowing! I think they need to make more large print books for kids. Mum tells me that there are lot of people out there saying that I inspire them or that they think I am pretty amazing and very positive about my attitude. I even got a msg from someone saying that they were my biggest fan. I think that that is pretty funny, because I think I am just like anyone else. I have days when I am angry with eyes, and sad about and scared about it and nervous about it. I don’t think anyone needs to be my fan or anyone needs to think I am amazing. I just think to myself, Claire what else are going to do? I mean I still have to get up and go to school, I am still part of a team at football, I am still part of a family. I can’t just not try to things because others will be let down if I do. The only thing I want to worry about is doing whatever I can today and if it is different or tricky or challenging tomorrow, then I will worry about that tomorrow.

But I also want to be an encourager 🙂 I want to encourage others in the same that I have been helped and encouraged by people like my school, Vision Australia, Capital Football, Sigourney Dunk, Liz McPherson, the Matildas, Hesterine de Reus, Moya Dodd, Nicole Sykes, Sally Shipard, The Womens Game,  Tuggeranong United Football Club, my Mum and Kel, my Dad, my sisters and brother, and my Poppy.

I think anyone should be able to anything, I just think that sometimes we have to think about things a little bit differently. I am so glad that the people helping me feel the same way.

Claire 🙂