Amber Stockard and her friend Amber Jackson were brainstorming one day when Stockard, a therapist, sent a text with the idea for a Cross Roads Little Dribblers team for special needs children. Jackson has a special needs daughter. The two of them started the team and within two months have 11 players from all across Henderson County.
It helps them to feel included, and feel like a “normal kid,” Jackson said.
The group includes children in wheelchairs who have helpers. One dad had a special sling he wears in order to help his daughter participate. The children smiled and expressed their joy. There currently are not enough volunteers, so parental involvement is key.
The children have a broad range of issues from cerebral palsy, heart defects, down syndrome, to autism.
“Seeing the smiles on their faces is amazing, if you can put a smile on their face for just a minute it makes you feel good,” Jackson said.
This was the first year, and it has already attracted children from all over Henderson County. The games are not scored, because it is about having fun and being a team. When one person scores or makes a personal milestone, everyone cheers for one another. They rooted each other on and passed the ball to those who may not have gotten as much play time.
At the end of the year every child will receive a trophy.
“It's not about win or lose it is about getting out there and having fun.” Jackson said.
She judges their success by the smiles on their faces and knows her own daughter enjoys it immensely. She said a day doesn't go by without hearing her ask “do we have basketball, do we have cheer?”
Games are held every Saturday at the old Cross Roads Gymnasium. If you would like more information on the team, wish to volunteer or sign up to play, please contact Amber Stockard at 903-203-9543.