Wheelchair athlete keeps pace, is determined to go beyond limitations

Junior Samuel De Rousse inspires, motivates his track teammates

By Concetta Callahan - Anchor/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - If you've ever played a sport you know that hard work, dedication and practice makes you a better athlete and that on each team there tends to be a star athlete that stands out amongst the rest. At Clark High School, that star is someone all athletes can learn something from.

And what makes this star athlete so incredible? Samuel De Rousse does it all from a wheelchair. 

De Rousse has been on the track team for three years and works as if he has nothing holding him back.

"He does the whole routine we do. The stretching routine, he's got some modified stretches of his own, but whatever we do in practice that day practice wise, he does that," said Bobby Allen, the boys track coach at Clark High School.

De Rousse's track chair has changed his life. Sam competes in the UIL wheelchair events.

Coach Allen said despite his limitations he's seen improvements every week and it's paying off. Sam's qualified for the state finals in the 400 meters.

"It's really important to me, one - something to do outside of school. Two,  it gives me drive and purpose. And, it gives me something to talk about other than doctors' appointments and therapies with my friends and it makes me more normal to the common eye," De Rousse said.

Coach Allen said De Rousse has the other athletes in awe of all that he is able to accomplish.

"They know that he has certain limitations, but for him to approach it with a positive attitude that he does, I do believe a lot of our athletes do look up to him," said Allen.

With the support of his coach and teammates to back him up, Sam pushes himself to keep pace.

"Once more and we're done. Okay. Good work so far. Keep working on what you've been working on. Nice finish. Way to power through at the end," Coach Allen said after another fine day at practice.

The track is a place where Sam feels he belongs.

The Believe It Foundation is full of many more incredible stories like his. The local non-profit brings physically challenged kids together with typical children by uniting them at summer camp in New Braunfels.

De Rousse was the organization's first camper when he was only eight years old back in 2009. While there he learned to have fun and interact with anyone.

Today, he thrives on the track team at his high school.

"I'm grateful for the school because when I was his age I didn't have an opportunity to do what he's doing, so I'm really proud of him and the school for being inclusive and including him in something like track," said Andrew McAllister, the Founder of the Believe It Foundation.

Andrew founded the organization to offer more opportunities to children with disabilities.

To learn more about the Believe It Foundation or get someone you know involved with the organization click here.

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