Nino. In his own words.
Me love my life. Work as Coach with Bristol Bears, me good helping other people. I like uniform and match days.
Me great goalkeeper with Mencap team, we 1st in League.
I be Manager at Bristol City one day help Lee Johnson, he my friend.
Me had day with Bristol City it was best day in my life.
Me Vice Captain of Special Olympics swim team Bristol Sharks, me win gold, silver bronze & get speeding tickets.
My girlfriend Olivia very beautiful & love her into my heart, 4 years together nearly. Me at Bath College, like it and work hard. Me have friends and enjoy cooking, not like maths too tricky.
Me a Model with Zebedee makes me feel proud and happy, got lots photos and go to London. Me love my family and have lots of friends, my sister Lia loves me, me love her. Me very fit and healthy do sport and weights with PA Dean. Me love smell good and dress smart, me like hair fashion. Me love singing, dancing and music.
Me have sister.
Read about Nino's story with Bristol Rugby Community Foundation’s Spectrum Work Experience Programme on the Bristol Sport website.
Nino. In his Mum's Words.
Nino was born on September the 12th 1998. After six months the Consultant hit us with, "I’m sorry to tell you that it is unlikely that Nino will ever get a proper job as he has Down Syndrome.” We left the hospital that day and went to my husband’s family. Our families on both sides were and always have been fully supportive and love Nino unconditionally. I admit that I cried a lot, and felt completely overwhelmed by everything that was happening, but with a strong family around us we just seemed to get on with things then.
Nino is now 20 years old, he is a 2nd year full time student at Bath College studying Life, Independence & Living Skills. He has a beautiful girlfriend called Olivia -they have been together nearly 4 years - he is a competing Special Olympic Swimmer, Vice Captain of Bristol Sharks Squad, goalkeeper/footballer for Keynsham Mencap Football Team who won the league this season, an Assistant Rugby Coach at Bristol Bears, and he weight trains 3-4 times a week, schedule permitting. He is also a model with Zebedee Management. He is totally health and fitness focused with an excellent diet supported by his dad. He has a full weekly schedule, supported by me, dad and his PA. He is a great big, little brother to his 15 year old sister Lia (they adore each other) and he is my Hero.
The journey has been a difficult one at times, with social issues, medical issues, inclusion and acceptance issues... But I have never given up in supporting Nino in whatever he wanted to do. I've always encouraged him to give things a try, see if you like it then decide if you want to do it or not.
Nino has been my teacher throughout the years, he has taught me tolerance, unconditional love, acceptance, faith, hope, endurance, forgiveness, kindness, generosity, gentleness, that hugs cure everything, laugh until you face hurts , always dance like no-ones watching and always sing at the top of your lungs like no-one is listening.
In his own words "Me love my Life". Well, “Me love our lives”
Down Syndrome is just a tiny part of Nino, its like the glitter on top of his personality, it highlights and accentuates his qualities whether tricky or amazing.
I feel privileged to experience my life as a support role to my son’s leading role and would not change a thing...ok maybe just one; stop him "tidying" my things to places he can never remember where he put them, without me asking him to do so in the first place!!!!
For expectant or new parents I would say celebrate your baby, rejoice in all that they make your heart feel. Don't feel guilty about anything negative or positive that you feel, go with it but be realistic and truthful in what you need to cope, only you feel that way and you need to help yourself heal and realise the future will bean amazing, wonderful, unexpected adventure with the best tour guide ever.
Realise early on that the journey you are about to go on with you little one is going to be one hell of a ride with some stunning scenery along they way and a few bumps and even a derailment or two. BUT it will be worth it as you get to witness them achieve, grow and become part of your beautiful family. They may just need a little more time, patience, humour, practise, encouragement and hope than you thought you were capable of giving any other human being, but you will because they are you son or daughter and you love them for being just that.
Remember Down Syndrome is the glitter that makes their personality sparkle even brighter. Dream, Believe, Achieve. We are the The Lucky Few xxxx
Written By Nino’s Mum Sharon Genua 10.10.18
Nino is represented by Zebedee Management