Jeff Tweedie, a ventilator dependent quadriplegic injured in a rugby accident in 1994, is giving back to the sports community as an assistant coach for the Winthrop/Monmouth Middle School Football team in Maine.
Coaching football is a big part of Jeff’s life. His twin sons are members of the Winthrop/Monmouth team, and Jeff shares that coaching his boys for the last five years “is one of the things that keeps me going every day.”
Head coach Tom Choate praises Jeff for the wealth of knowledge he brings to his role as a coach. And fellow team parent/home health nurse Julie Parisien shares how the players listen to and respect Jeff. “He doesn’t have a very strong voice [because of the ventilator], but as soon as they hear Coach Tweedie, they come over to him, they stand next to him, and they listen to what he has to say. “
Jeff emphasizes how teamwork plays an important role both on the football field and in his life as a quadriplegic.
“Everybody has to work together – just like how when I first got injured, my whole family had to work together to get me up and going and working again … Everybody supports each other in the game. That alone is inspiration – seeing young kids come together, working through it, knowing they can overcome anything that will come in front of them in the future.”
Are you a coach making a difference in athletes’ lives? Share your story, and you might get featured on AbleThrive!