Monday, 4 January 2010

On the 10th day of Christmas I'd like to introduce ...

Brad Hennefer

20 year old Brad was the first individual with Down Syndrome to graduate from his High School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  He enjoys listening to music, watching movies, hanging out with his many friends and playing sports.  He has taken part in Special Olympics basketball, golf and weight lifting, winning several gold and silver medals and he was also a member of his high school varsity basketball and golf teams.  

In October 2008 the New Jersey State Senate honoured Cherry Hill East’s Varsity basketball team in recognition for it's inclusion of Brad, but by all accounts, Brad was not only a greatly liked member of the team but also a valued player.  You can see him in action here.

Brad started playing golf at the age of 3 when his older brother  would take him to play miniature golf, but as he got older, his family noticed that he had quite a talent for the sport.  Through the Variety Club of Philadelphia, Brad was partnered to play in a few tournaments around the area with player Rich Smith who quickly noticed Brad's talent and began working with him to develop his game. 

Brad is now able to play a full 18 holes of golf (you can see his progress here) and knowing how much golf had helped Brad, he, his family and that of his golf partner wanted to give other people with DS the same opportunities, so they set up Golf for Life which is becoming a successful program, both in the Philadelphia area and across the US. 

"I play golf because it's fun, and I can spend time with my father, and my brother, and my friends.  It's good exercise, and, really, because it's fun!"
-Brad Hennefer, age 20

It also appears that Brad has some pretty smooth dance moves - check them out here!

1 comment:

  1. Our son John (DS) is going to be 17 months old on the 9th. This gives me so much hope for his future. We are just beginning the journey. He is crawling, and just learning to stand. Hopefully he'll be walking & running w/ his big sister soon. Thanks for sharing this great story of a wonderful young man that has shown the world his amazing ABILITIES!


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