Coach Derek Locklear works with Children with Special Needs
Coach Derek has worked extensively with teens and young children with special needs. He has an acceptance and understanding of these young people and feels privileged to make a difference in their lives. Coach Derek has volunteered his time once a month at The Friendship Circle of the South Bay since 2006.
Helping Children with Special Needs is an intensely personal experience for Coach Derek:
“I grew up with a brother (who is less than a year older than me) that had some special needs. He was my best friend and due to his difficulties I spent most of my childhood fighting for him both literally and figuratively. I wanted to protect him from the cruelty of innocence imposed by children. I wanted to shield him from defeat in sports which will always come to everyone at some point. But most of all I wanted to help him be better at the sports he chose to play. I excelled in sports yet I always found myself trying to deflect the light I received onto my brother who was, and still is, my best friend. The truth is it brings me tremendous JOY to take a child only a few steps within the realm of sports knowing that it is a 25 mile leap in their lives.” – Coach Derek Locklear
Friendship Foundation of the South Bay aims to provide children and teenagers with special needs and their families with many of the social and recreational opportunities that are currently available to the general community.
Each month, Coach Derek looks forward to participating in Sports Night as The Friendship Foundation pairs up special needs kids with high school buddies for a night of fun & inspirational moments.
The Friendship Foundation of the South Bay is a non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of youth with special needs through social and recreational activities at home, school and in the community.
Read more about Friendship Foundation of the South Bay at www.gotfriends.com
Andrew Garcia in action – running the ball, getting and giving encouragement; posing with D1 Giants and Bucs after his 1st game.
Andrew Garcia is boy with special needs who always dreamed of playing football….
The league was contacted by Coach Derek and Coach Mike, who wondered if it might be possible to let Andrew come down and maybe practice or stand on the sidelines. The d1 Bucs immediately embraced Andrew – and with the help of the league (and aau insurance) got him into a few games. Andrew showed great speed and many of the teams showed great compassion, helping Andrew succeed – he even “scored” a bunch of times. A great learning experience for all of us,…Eloquently summed up by this letter from his Mom:
“On behalf of Andrew and the Garcia family, we would like to extend our most sincere thanks to the league, the coaches, and the Bucs families. you all were instrumental in allowing us to learn some important life lessons through the pretext of football.
Andrew had envisioned himself playing football… We, his protective parents, had decided otherwise for his own safety …yet his personal coach (Derek Lockear) saw an opportunity for him and other kids …and you all allowed it to happen.
Andrew will be forever changed by the experience he had on your team. He learned many things, one of which was that he can overcome and achieve with focus and dedication. He learned how hard it can be to be a real team player, while enjoying every minute of it. He also learned that you can lead others with your heart and a positive attitude, and it is just as valuable as leading with skill and physical strength.
As his parents, Andrew has taught us many lessons over the years. however, this time he outdid himself. He taught us that we don’t need to limit him to protect him, and more importantly, that displaying his challenges to his peers can prove to be beneficial to more than just himself. We have always tried to insulate him in an effort to protect his confidence and self esteem. Your children have taught us that it is not always necessary, and that his peers can be his strongest allies. You have much to be proud of in your children! We hope that you and your children have also taken something positive from this experience.
It has been our privilege to play on your team and our son will always be grateful to all of you. Thank you for embracing him and giving him your support. We hope in some way, he too, has touched your lives for the better as he does for us each and every day!” – Gratefully yours, the Garcia Family
Read more at BCSFlagFootball.com
Special Needs Kids | Coach Derek Locklear
If your child has Special Needs, don’t hesitate to use our Registration Form
and select the Special Needs option to create a class
that will be a special experience for both your child and for Coach Derek!
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Note: All coaches are CPR/First Aid Trained.
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