Sports are taken for granted when it comes to the general population. However, there are some individuals who have dreamed of wearing their team's jersey on the sidelines but not in a student manager role. For some, that manager role was the only option for them to be involved in school athletics because of physical disabilities.
The Southeast High School track program is raising money to buy racing wheelchairs for two students that are diagnosed with cerebral palsy: senior cross country manager Katelyn Koskey and junior football manager Wesley Stephens.
"We thought how could we get Kate to be more involved. She does a great job with what we were doing already. It occurred to us there's wheelchair racing in track and field," Southeast track and field coach Chris Hood said.
Coach Hood already started the process with the Illinois High School Athletic Association with paperwork. He's also begun research on meets that Katelyn and Wesley could compete in this season. Both athletes are stunned that this is even an option for them.
Wesley said, "Are you sure? I didn't know I could do this. What do you want me to do? How is this going to happen?"
They want to train, practice and compete like everyone else.
"It doesn't matter if you have a disability or how much you're affected. We all get the same chance or should get the same chance as others who are not disabled," Katleyn said.
If you would like to donate to the cause, you can head to their GoFundMe page or make a donation to Southeast High School with the attention being to the track and field program.