Kicking goals every day
Posted: 4/9/2018 9:28 PM by
Just Better Care
When Manchester United (Man-U) score a goal, cheers are heard beyond Old Trafford – the team’s home stadium in Stretford, England. They can be heard from all corners of the globe, including Warragul in Victoria, where Cain – an avid football fan - watches intently from his Man-U dedicated sports room.
Cain lives and breathes the English-origin sport. He has travelled to Stretford three times to see the stadium where his favourite team plays football – a sport in Australia known more commonly as soccer.
His older brother Darren, who doesn’t care much for soccer, winds his brother up from time to time, saying Chelsea – a rival team of Man-U – will crush them in the next round. It’s a bit of harmless fun between the brothers, who are heading to a Melbourne City game in Melbourne soon.
Cain was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth, a genetic chromosome disorder which impacts physical and intellectual development.
Living with a disability has never held Cain back.
“Cain has a disability, but it’s not a handicap. Whatever he chooses to do, he can have a go at doing and we’ll be there to support him,” his mum Marge said.
His love of travel and soccer has also taken him around Australia multiple times. From the ages of 17-40, Cain represented Victoria in soccer at the Special Olympics at various locations across Australia.
He also competed in softball, floor hockey, basketball and swimming.
Well-travelled, Cain has also made his way through Europe and Fiji. His mum wants to see him travel abroad on his own, a goal they are working towards this year.
“Years ago he wanted to go to Bali and we had it all mapped out, but then the bombings happened,” she explained.
“We’d lined up everything with a carer so he could go on his own but we had to cancel due to safety concerns. We hope to organise something soon so Cain can go and explore on his own.
“He’s at the stage where he doesn’t really want to go on a trip with mum and dad, unless of course we are going back to the UK. And why shouldn’t he have that opportunity to go and explore the world?”
To ease his long work commute, Cain’s family moved from Emerald to Warragul in the West Gippsland region about four years ago. He works three days a week at a supported employment company.
“Cain has an amazing work ethic, he gets involved in different projects and enjoys trying new things. He really pushes himself to learn and challenge himself. He loves working; it gives him a sense of achievement,” Marge said.
“On Monday mornings, he and his dad Brian volunteer at Cardinia Beaconhills Golf Club doing maintenance work around the course. Cain loves it; he gets to work with the other men and hang out with his dad.”
Adding to his list of achievements is prizewinning photography. More recently Cain started attending sessions at not-for-profit organisation, Scope, in Pakenham with his Just Better Care Gippsland Support Professional Garry.
In his classes Cain learned the basics of good photography, composition and balance. Now he is confidently using an SLR camera to capture beautiful shots.
His work was recently displayed at Cardinia Cultural Centre: another proud moment for Cain, his family and other people in his photography group. A prized shot of water tanks at Puffing Billy Railway Station, Emerald sits framed in his family home – a favourite of Marge’s.
One of his greatest supporters, Marge said she can’t wait to see what her son achieves next.
Just Better Care Gippsland opened its Rosedale office late last year to offer in-home and community support for aged care and disability support customers.
To read more stories like Cain's check out the latest edition of the Possible magazine