Alfonso is a friendly, enthusiastic and energetic Ausome athlete, always with a smile and cheers of encouragement for his fellow teammates. Over the past three years, he has stretched in yoga, scored in soccer and paddled in dragon boats. But playing sports was not always an option for him.
When Alfonso and his mom, Carolina, moved to Ottawa in 2018, they left their friends and family behind. Moving to a new country brings on it’s own challenges and Carolina was looking for a community where Alfonso would feel confident and safe while forming friendships.
Previously, participating in sports was often challenging and frustrating for Alfonso. As Carolina explains, “there were no places that could include a child with autism, so when he tried he ended up feeling sad and frustrated.” “I am not good at sports, mom,” he used to say.
That is not true. So Carolina was thrilled when she first learned about Ausome and signed him up. “He finally had the chance to practice sports without frustration for the very first time.” Even the pandemic hasn’t slowed Alfonso down! He loves participating in our virtual programs because he can still see his friends and have a blast while building his athletic skills.
Carolina says it is not just Alfonso who loves Ausome. She does too, valuing the opportunity to meet and befriend fellow parents at programs. They both found a community within a community at Ausome.
Then a move to Mexico City this past December threatened to put an end to that. However, through our virtual programs, Alfonso is able to stay active with Ausome, continue connecting with his teammates and carry on cheering them on – even from 3,000 kilometres away!
“Ausome has really changed Alfonso’s life in many ways,” Carolina says from Mexico.”Thanks again for giving us the chance to feel included.”
Ausome Ottawa believes in breaking down barriers – like distance – so that every child with autism has the opportunity for quality participation in sports. Our virtual programs are designed to provide a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for our athletes to play, thrive and remain part of our Ausome community no matter where in the world they live.
Programs & Volunteer Coordinator