Special Needs - We All Have Them

Well my daughter Isn’t a child anymore, but a beautiful 29 year old.
Kristen was born with epilepsy and left hemiplegia and I’ll be honest the last 29 years has been DIFFERENT. There has been a lot of crying and setbacks but also a lot of laughter and moments of triumph such as the time when she first rode a bike with special straps for her weak left foot, of course we also cried that day out of joy. I’m sure the bike technology is far more advanced these days. As this is my first blog and as there are so many things that Kristen and the family have gone through I thought it would be a good idea to talk about how we came to start Bad Ass Sports and keep the early escapades for future blogs.





We all have special needs but its a fact that some are more special than others. Having epilepsy and a physical weakness makes some of the stuff that we take for granted a little more frustrating like putting on socks, cutting an apple, taking a shower and somethings that are not in the picture at the moment, like driving, the one thing Kristen hungers to do. Finding work has also been a chore. Although Kristen has applied and tried various employment opportunities like secretary, stocking goods at a large department store and bagging at a local supermarket, for various reasons it did not work out. I am an Architect by profession and because of the sluggish economy business has been slow, so after having a few beers one night, I decided to start a clothing company that would give my daughter meaningful work. A client an educated man showed me an ad for a ceiling fan in an architectural magazine called “Big Ass Fans” and he got a kick out of the ad and It turned out it was the use of the word “Ass” . So after drinking a few beers I decided the company name was going to be “Bad Ass Sports”. My wife being from the South and if you’ve ever been to the South you will know its not whether you go to church or not but what church you go to. So needless to say she didn’t like the name, but God bless her she has changed her mind. After sleeping on the idea, the next day I decided to investigate the possibility. One of my architectural teachers always emphasized the necessity of having a big idea, so what was the big idea for Bad Ass Sports. It was going to be company that would hire people with special needs to produce a quality American made (where possible) product, that would also benefit special needs sports. I liked the big idea so I went about doing my due diligence, trademarking the name and putting together the business side. One element that kept me awake at night was the fact that someone is cyber sitting the .com site and wants lot of money for it, but I’ve just kept on going with .org and I think it will be fine. The other important piece to the “Bad Ass Sports” story is the partnership with the Special Olympics the world’s largest movement of inclusion and respect.
And my mother said nothing good would come from drinking beer.

1 reply
  1. Michelle La Roche
    Michelle La Roche says:

    I remember watching Kirsten playing football ( or soccer as you Americans call it) and even though she found it extremely difficult with your support and quite a bit of shouting she joined in the match and gave it her all. We are really proud of your new venture and the ethics behind the idea are inspirational. I work closely with children with additional needs and support their families to cope with the emotional difficulties and the prejudices which they face on a daily basis. There needs to be more companies, schools and individuals who are willing to treat people with additional needs as unique human beings with valuable qualities which could enrich their companies, places of education or their lives. We wish you every success

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