Final Thoughts on UN Youth Leadership Camp 2014

BlazeCamp is over, and the UN Youth Leadership Camp is wrapping up. Maggie Frederick would like to give you her final thoughts and reflection on her experience. She has spent an incredible two weeks in Bradenton, FL with Dimitry, learning and developing new leadership skills that will help her long term.

This week has been tiresome and rewarding. I can not believe all the information that I am learning. So far we have learned about Judo, Rugby, and Table Tennis.

I really enjoyed Judo because Nico, the speaker, was very passionate about it and it made me excited for it. He focused a lot on the history and he talked about Judo is based on a moral code. The moral code is friendship, bravery, sincerity, honor, modesty, respect, self control, politeness, and perseverance. This really hit home to me because this is what sports did for me growing up. I learned all of these codes through sports. However, I do not think that it was ever discussed, it just happened naturally as I got older. Judo is built on this code and it is very important to the athletes. There are many different colored belts that you can get in Judo, black being the highest. You have to have the skills as well as the knowledge to move up in Judo. I never new anything about Judo before this camp and I now have a new respect for the sport and the participants.

Rugby was really interesting to me because I have only played Quad Rugby and knew nothing about able bodied Rugby. I also really enjoyed it because despite my disability, the coaches still really encouraged me to participate. We were on a grass field so it was really hard. I did the drills at the beginning but decided that it was safer I sit out for safety reasons. I got to cheer on my team and we won the mini tournament undefeated. It was a really great experience. I have never really participated in team sports with able bodied people and it was really nice to not only to be included but to feel very welcomed in doing so.

Table Tennis was also really fun because the instructors also taught the group about disabled athletes. It was nice to feel included. I struggled at the beginning because I was not very good, but after a little bit of practice I got a hang of things. What I also enjoyed is that the instructors taught us how to be resourceful. The organization is known for traveling to various countries with very little and teaches them how to play table tennis with maybe one racket and no real table for the game. It was very eye opening.

All of these experiences so far as really opened my eyes and has really encouraged me to start setting some new goals to help sport for development become bigger and bigger. I can not wait to see what myself and the other participants at this camp can do in our futures!

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