Rising Centre College sophomore Carter Alvey (Mount Washington, Kentucky) recently participated in the Paralympics Soccer World Cup in Spain as a member of the United States national team. Through his participation, Alvey represented the 23 million Americans who have Cerebral Palsy (CP), and he claims that being selected as the goalkeeper for this team is a “dream, especially as a kid with a disability.”
“Growing up as an athlete with a disability can be difficult,” he explains. “When you’re young, the prospect of a sports scholarship or any sort of higher-level athletics is not there for many. The entire Paralympic sports scene, as well as the CP soccer team, has provided an outlet where disabled athletes of all backgrounds can become elite athletes and have the possibility to perform in higher-level athletics.”
The road to the Paralympics began in 2016, when Alvey attended a youth soccer camp for players who have CP or have suffered a stroke or a traumatic brain injury. This led to his recruitment to attend an Elite Athlete Training Center in California, and ultimately, his selection for the Paralympics national soccer team.
Alvey states he was “ecstatic” when he discovered he was selected for the World Cup Team. He recounts the moment his coach, Stuart Sharp, delivered the life-changing news.
“It was incredible to learn that the long journey and hours of hard work put into the sport finally came to fruition. It was also motivating, though, as I was reminded the journey has not come to a close and there is still much to be done.”
According to Carter, balancing College academics and soccer can be difficult at times, as his training required him to attend weeklong camps every month for the past two years. However, he applauds Centre for helping him to understand the benefits of playing soccer and handling the sacrifices that come alongside it.
“Being at a school that’s constantly pushing you to be your best makes me want to push myself in nearly every aspect of my life. Soccer is just another channel in which I can challenge myself, set goals and achieve them. Centre has taught me that is one of the biggest benefits of a healthy activity, like soccer.”
The U.S. Team left their mark in Spain by advancing to the quarterfinal on July 14, where they lost to England in a close match.
“I was one of those kids who never thought it was possible. Now, I’ve played in the World Cup in Spain. It is just surreal.”
by Makenzie Dries
July 19, 2019