Just one of the team

Bonnie Learning
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Kori Blake enjoys all aspects of softball, as she takes to the field for the first time


Kori Blake (foreground) is the newest member of Bentley’s softball team in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Kori — who has Down Syndrome — became interested in playing softball, after watching her older sister, Stacey Ramey (back, second from right) play for many years.

Kori Blake is like any other member of her ladies softball team — she’s cheerful, loves to bat, catch and cheer on her teammates.

There is just one difference — Kori has Down syndrome.

But that certainly doesn’t stop the 28-year old from having fun with the girls and contributing to the team.

“Kori would always come here to watch me play, for several years,” explained Kori’s older sister, Stacey Ramey, of Kori’s interest in the game.

“Before or after the games, she would come out on the field with us, hit the ball, catch, chat with the team members. So we felt she should try it.”

This is Kori’s first year playing ball.

“We always encourage her to be active, and to get out of the house,” said Ramey.

“She calls me every morning to see if we have a game that day.”

Kori is no stranger to the physical activity, as Ramey said she has been swimming since she was a small child, and a member of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Special Olympics for most of her life, up until this year.

Shavonne Engram is the team rep for Bentley’s, the team Kori plays with.

She said having Kori on the team is a very positive step for the league.

“It shows the league we’re not as serious as everyone thinks we are,” Engram grins. “We like to have fun and it gives Kori a chance to get on the go, socialize a bit more. Her sister is on the team, so she’s comfortable.”

It’s clear to see Kori’s enthusiasm at the ball field, as she watches her team play, and loudly cheers on her teammates as they take their turn at bat and run the bases. Kori plays the catcher position for a few innings each game, as well as has her turns at bat.

When asked what she likes best about playing ball, her face lights up.

“Everything!” she exclaims.



Geographic location: Happy Valley

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