BlazeSports America is currently hosting a UK Sport Exchange for seven participants, all from Scotland. The participants arrived on Saturday, September 6 in Washington, D.C. to tour the city and participate in many round table discussions with various educators, activists, and advocates on sport development and disability rights. We have featured an article kicking off the exchange program, and would like to give one of the seven participants, Stefan Hoggan, the opportunity to reflect on his experience. Stefan Hoggan is a 21-year-old swimmer from Scotland who completes at the competitive level, as well as, maintain a full time position at local pharmacy. He has already become a huge inspiration and we can’t wait to see all of the things he has to offer. The follow reflection is based on his experience thus far.
On the first day, we went into Washington, D.C. and went to famous sites like the Capitol building, The White House, Abe Memorial, and the Washington monument. It was a great day and I had such a laugh. One of our leaders, Emily, learned new words, such as, ‘braw’ and we learned that fossett means ‘tap’ in Scottish. At the end of our day, we had the chance to come together and collectively think of a word that best described our day. After much thinking, we decided on the word: FANDABIDOSEY. In other words, we had a fantastic day interacting with each other and touring various historical monuments and museums.
The next day was filled with adventure and education. After lunch we were all having a craving for frozen yogurt. Emily made several comments on how good it is in America, and it all made us anxious to try it. We got lost in Washington, D.C. looking for a frozen yogurt shop, but finally found it after talking to two Americans. Even though we walked forever and got a little turned around, we were able to see more of the city, as well as, entertainment along the streets. There was a man dancing in the middle of the road. I was shocked that nobody had stopped him. We finally found the shop, and I can now say that frozen yogurt is brilliant. After our long journey, we met with USAID and learned a lot about disability rights and about how we use sport to get disabled and abled people integrated.
On Day 3, we visited Georgetown University, where we got to tour the campus, which was very cool, and exactly what it’s like in the movies. It is really interesting how different our universities are compared to American universities. Afterwards, we met with Judy Heumann, who is an advocate for disability rights. I was beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to be apart of a round table discussion with many educators and advocates on disability rights. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the remainder of our time in Washington, D.C.