Mark 10:14 students participate in Faith Lutheran track and basketball programs


Photo courtesy of Sarah Crowder

Roberts and another teammate chase after the ball to gain possesion during a Faith home game. Roberts worked hard in practice to compete her best in games.

“Other kids get to see what they can do; what they’re capable of. And that’s a really cool benefit,” said Lee Segalla, the head Mark 10:14 instructor, regarding the benefits of Mark 10:14 students playing sports. Multiple Mark 10:14 students participate in sports at Faith.

While the Mark 10:14 students all have some kind of disability, that doesn’t hold them back from playing sports.

Lydia Bethard, a Mark 10:14 student who ran track this spring, said she ran track “because it’s fun and (she) just (likes) it.”

Another Mark 10:14 student, Brooke Roberts, also gets involved with sports at Faith.

Roberts played basketball this winter.

Even though there are challenges, including finding a mentor to watch the students at their sport, the benefits of these kids playing sports are just about endless.

“Of course the physical (benefits) of them getting exercise, but more importantly than that, it’s them connecting to the other kids on the team. Them getting the experience of having to come everyday to practice and challenge themselves to get stronger and better,” said Segalla.

“(Another benifit is) them getting the experience of having to come everyday to practice and challenge themselves to get stronger and better.”

–Lee Segalla

Many of Bethard and Roberts’s teammates encourage them do their best and enjoy getting to know them throughout the season.

Ryan Chapman, one of Bethard’s teammates, enjoys running with her “because you can talk to her. She’s really fun to talk to.”

Other students feel like helping these students helps themselves as wells as the studnets.

“She seems so determined, and she’s definitely somebody you could work with,” said Claire Dalbec, another one of Bethard’s teammates.

With coaching other kids and coaching Mark 10:14 kids, there are a few differences.

“One thing that comes to mind about Brooke being different from the other kids on the team is her diabetes. We had to be monitoring her blood sugars closely to make sure that she was able to participate,” said Mrs. Abbie Hazel, Roberts’s basketball coach.

There are other differences on the track.

“Lydia always had a buddy to run with and would rotate between sprints and distance groups,” said Heidi Dalbec, the long distance assistant coach, who coached Lydia.

Kelly Phelps, the head track coach, also noticed contrasts between Mark 10:14 athletes and other athletes.

“Coaching Lydia was different because she typically needed a family member or mentor with her at practice, and we let her pick one area of track and field to focus on, as opposed to trying multiple events,” said Phelps.

Of course, with the dissimilarities and benefits come the challenges of coaching Mark 10:14 kids.

“One challenge was that Brooke didn’t like to be sitting on the bench.  She wanted to be in the game at all times,” said Hazel. “We would have to do it at the end of quarters because she refused to be subbed out during the game.”

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