Kori Blake enjoys all aspects of softball, as she takes to the field for the first time
© Photo by Bonnie Learning/The Labradorian
Kori Blake (foreground) is the newest member of Bentleyâs softball team in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Kori â who has Down Syndrome â 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 â sheâs cheerful, loves to bat, catch and cheer on her teammates.
There is just one difference â Kori has Down syndrome.
But that certainly doesnât stop the 28-year old from having fun with the girls and contributing to the team.
âKori would always come here to watch me play, for several years,â explained Koriâs older sister, Stacey Ramey, of Koriâs interest in the game.
âBefore 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.â
This is Koriâs first year playing ball.
âWe always encourage her to be active, and to get out of the house,â said Ramey.
âShe calls me every morning to see if we have a game that day.â
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 Bentleyâs, the team Kori plays with.
She said having Kori on the team is a very positive step for the league.
âIt shows the league weâre not as serious as everyone thinks we are,â Engram grins. âWe 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 sheâs comfortable.â
Itâs clear to see Koriâs 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.
âEverything!â she exclaims.