Look for your own color.
"OluOlu" means nice, pleasant, gracious in Hawaiian.
If you have a passion to try or accomplish something, then you just need to do it. It may be difficult at first, but one step at a time. Step forward. We want you to try. We want to treasure your precious feelings and passion and support you.
OluOlu started from this simple feelings.
"I want to kick soccer ball too"
My son and I were coming home from his local soccer practice. He didn't even look at me when he said it. It was a simple statement, but shocked me.
My son was diagnosed as cerebral palsy as soon as he was born. He can't run as fast as his classmates and his balance isn't that great either. Because of his condition, he always had to look at his teammates' back and run after them. As a parent, I blamed on his young teammates why they couldn't be considerate of my son and pass a ball to him. Always "Why?" but never could verbalize it because I thought it wouldn't change anything. All I could do was to tell my son to "Try his best". I knew it didn't satisfy my son.
My son was born 26th week into the pregnancy as Ultra-low-birth-weight infant. Weighed less than a kilogram, I could hold my son with my one hand. Loved him so dearly from the moment he was born, but was also scared with anxiety and uncertainty of how I was going to raise an infant with brain damage. I was always trying so hard not to be crashed with the reality. The precious new life was living his hardest in a plastic bin at NICU. I sat next to him from the moment I was awake until I dragged myself into lonely bedroom at night. I still remember the feelings like yesterday.
My son now is in 1st grade.
With his new busy environment, he stopped going to his old soccer team. The biggest reason is that he couldn't play as well as his teammates. "I can't." , he said. I knew what he meant. So I didn't push him to continue either.
He enjoys playing Wii Switch, watches sports on tv, and wants to have playdates as much as possible, just like other kids now. He keeps himself busy with playing with his friends, studies hard, and also started to try new other things, except soccer.
But occasionally he said he wants to play soccer. He likes playing soccer.
He has more strength and energy than before, thanks to his dedicated physical therapist.. At the same time, his piers can ran faster than before as well. In fact, the physical difference is more obvious than before. His older soccer coach did try his best to understand my son's situation and I am still grateful for that, but the difference between my son and his teammates will be clear and I was not going to make my son go back to the team. I think lots of parents with disability kids can relate to my feelings.
I happened to know about "CP (Cerebral Palsy) Soccer" on TV. Unfortunately CP soccer did not make it to 2020 Tokyo Olympic event, but there are many worldwide competitions and we have 7 official CP soccer team under CP Soccer Association in Japan.
If my son could play soccer as one of the members, maybe he can actually kick ball in the games. There may be even a chance to be one of the representatives in the future. Put that all aside, he can do the sports that he LOVES!!!! I was thrilled and immediately looked up on the internet for details.
We hear the word such as "Barrier free" or "Act of Eliminating Discrimination Against People with Disabilities". Seems like the society is trying to understand the point of view of disabilities and families with disability people. But in the reality, just to participate in sports club such as soccer, baseball or dancing, there are many factors that non-disability people won't/can't understand, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
OluOlu wants to create a place where disability kids can play their favorite sports with their own spot lights, which may ease their anxiety and frustrations. We believe it is all parents' wish that their kids blossom, enjoy themselves without worrying about people's look or feeling such as they can't play as well as the others. Our goal is to make safe and enjoyable place for all the disability kids and families to get together and enjoy sports and cultural activities.
Why don't you come join us and walk your first step to find new yourself ?
OluOlu, October, 2018