The following post was written by Sidney and Britney, Youth Leaders from Maui High School
Athlete Nicole Kelly is an inspiration to us all! Nicole is one of the sweetest and most positive people we have ever met! Nicole will be competing in 5-a-side soccer with her team, the Terminators, at the Games, which will be held in Seattle the first week of July. As the youth leaders attending the Youth Leadership Experience at the Games, we had the opportunity to attend the Hui O Hawaii (Team Hawaii) training camp in February. When we attended the Terminators practice this May, the improvement in the team’s fitness, skill level, and ability was obvious. The Terminators are each working hard and looking good!
Being the oldest athlete on her team does not hold her back in any way. In fact, she is a leader among, exercising every day in preparation for her Special Olympics USA Games debut! She’s already lost 30 lbs and has no plans to stop working hard. Nicole credits her “best coaches,” Danny and Kat, with helping to keep her motivated and encouraging her at every pass, fake, and shot. Her best advice for someone who wants to follow in her footsteps is to “work really hard on your training and make sure you stay in shape.” Nicole really enjoys learning new skills at her soccer practice, which she attends three times per week. Her favorite new soccer trick is the cut.
Nicole is, rightly, proud of her progress over the last few months and is excited to travel to Seattle and make new friends. She has not only improved her fitness level, lost weight, and learned new soccer skills, but has also been working on her nutrition. She is trained as a Global Messenger and uses her knowledge of healthy eating choices to help her teammates stay healthy too. Nicole is quick to remind us that “it’s okay to have a cheat day!” She left us with some advice about training that we think we can use in all aspects of our life. Nicole said, “when it’s hard to keep going, just remember to take a few deep breaths and know you can keep going.” Go Terminators!