Tim Howard: Football Role Model


Tim Howard
Jarret Campbell, via Wikipedia

Which players do you follow in the World Cup? Liz Waid and Colin Lowther look at Tim Howard. He has become a top football player, despite a difficult condition.

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Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2 

And I’m Colin Lowther. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand - no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

A group of men play football on a large field. They kick the ball at the goalkeeper. He moves quickly to block the goal. He is a tall man with no hair on his head. His arms are covered with permanent tattoos. He smiles and laughs with the other players as they practice. This is Tim Howard. He is one of many football players preparing for the 2014 World Cup. The best players from all around the world compete in this international soccer competition. In 2014 the world cup is in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. This is Howard’s third time playing in this competition. Howard plans to be the starting goalie for the US National Team in Rio. But Howard’s story includes much more than success in sports. Today’s Spotlight is on the life and faith of football player Tim Howard.

Voice 2 

Tim Howard is from New Jersey in the United States. He has played football since he was a young boy. At age 19 he began playing Major League soccer in the United States. In the US and Canada, people call football, soccer. The Major League is the highest level of football in the US. In 2001 Howard became the youngest winner of U.S. Major League Soccer's "Goalkeeper of the Year" award. He was only 22 at the time. He has since spent many years playing for the Premiere League in England. This league includes many of the best football players in the world. Today, Howard is the goalie for one of the top teams in the league – Everton.

Voice 1 

However, Howard reached this level with one big challenge. When he was 11 years old, doctors told him he had Tourette Syndrome. This is a disorder that affects the nervous system in the body. This system controls how the body moves. Tourette syndrome makes a person’s body make repeated movements and sounds even if the person does not want to. These movements can include eye blinking, repeated throat clearing or sniffing, sudden arm or leg movements, shoulder shrugging or jumping. Sometimes a person will also say words, or make small noises.

Voice 2 

A person with Tourette Syndrome cannot control these movements and sounds. His or her body just does them. Because of this, many people with Tourette Syndrome feel ashamed. It can be difficult for them to get a job. They may not feel accepted or useful in society. But Tim Howard shows that people with Tourette Syndrome CAN be successful. His story is an example, and he is a role model for other people. He is On the Tourette Syndrome Association’s website, Howard says:

Voice 3 

"I feel Tourette’s has made me stronger. If my position means I can be a role model to help other people feel stronger, then it will be a positive experience. Tourette's Syndrome is not a problem. It is part of my life. It does not affect me on or off the field. I always say “Never let it be a stop sign, it is just a speed bump. It is only a barrier to overcome.”

Voice 1 

Tim Howard told the public that he had Tourette syndrome in the year 2000. Since then he has won many awards for his work with the Tourette Syndrome Association. As a famous football player, Howard is in a position to teach many people about Tourette Syndrome. He shows the world an example of a successful person with this syndrome. And Howard shows people with Tourette syndrome that they do not need to be ashamed. In this way he is a role model to many people. The Tourette Syndrome Association considers him a hero and a champion. Joriel Sharp is a young man with Tourette syndrome. He says that Howard has helped him in many ways:

Voice 4 

“Tim got through all the barriers that someone with Tourette Syndrome faces. That makes him already famous in my eyes. His success tells the world that those with Tourette Syndrome have no limits. His example helps young people like me fight through difficult times.”

Voice 2 

Howard says that his success is not his own doing. He gives credit to God. Howard is very open about his Christian faith. He says that it is Jesus Christ who makes it possible for him to do great things. He told the Baptist Press:

Voice 3 

"I am just a vehicle for Christ. He moves me and the Spirit moves me in miraculous ways. God helps me deal with the pressures such as Tourette's syndrome and playing on a level like this and in England in the Premiere League. I just try to depend on faith.”

Voice 1

Howard does not just talk about his faith. He also acts by helping other people. He is part of an organization called Athletes in Action. This organization encourages young people to be active with their bodies and with their spirits. When Howard is not travelling with his football team, he gives his time to help at churches. He spends time talking with young people there. He encourages them in their faith. And also, of course, he plays football with them!

Voice 2 

In 2013 the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football gave Howard an award. They named him the Best Goalkeeper of the year. And he continues to be successful. Success is wonderful, but it can also be difficult. Many people admire football players. Some football fans may treat professional players as if they are more special than other people. Howard says that it can be difficult to have so many people watching everything he does. Even though he has been successful, Howard tries to remain humble. He says:

Voice 3 

"The most important thing in my life is Christ. He is more important to me than winning. He is more important than whether I am playing or not. Everything else is just extra."

Voice 1 

Like all the players in the World Cup, Howard wants his country to play well. But, he does not put all his hope on winning. He says:

Voice 3 

"Today, I am blessed to be living a dream. And yet, if it all went away tomorrow, I know I would still have peace. That probably sounds crazy to most people. That is the kind of peace Christ gives. It is based in His love. It goes beyond all understanding."

Voice 2 

The writer of this program was Rena Dam. The producer was Nick Mangeolles. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can find our program at http://www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Tim Howard: Football Role Model’.

Voice 1 

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

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Question:

Are there any sports players you admire? What qualities about them do you like?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Ildus
said on June 11, 2014

Thanks! very interesting story! I didn’t know earlier about this syndrome! Tiw Howard great football player. He is playing in the great football league. I wish him to get success in the World Cup football competition

hellokitty's avatar
hellokitty
said on June 11, 2014

I’ve never heard about Howard’s story. He is great! He “shows that people with Tourette Syndrome CAN be successful”. I have a great respect for him, and I think that is much to get many awards for him.

Avatar Spotlight
miboo
said on June 12, 2014

USA national team coach named Jurgen Klinsman said “Howard is in Top 5 goalkeeper.”  I saw his playing. He didn’t seem like he has disorder! He seems like having confidence. Tim Howard is such man.

Luis Piedra's avatar
Luis Piedra
said on June 13, 2014

The faith is fountain of life for each in the world.
Thanks Spotlight.

Luis Piedra's avatar
Luis Piedra
said on June 13, 2014

The faith is fountain of life for each person in the world.
Thanks Spotlight

Avatar Spotlight
kenhieuloilam
said on August 08, 2019

We choose to follow Jesus Christ. We are willing to give up all and follow Jesus Christ. The way of suffering is the way of love. The way of suffering is the narrow way, the way of peace of soul. We experience difficulties, challenges and sufferings and we love people having difficulty or suffering conditions in life. We experience difficulties, challenges and sufferings and we love beautiful good things in life. Difficulties are difficulties and difficulties are big. Sufferings are sufferings and sufferings are big. We choose to follow Jesus Christ. We are willing to give up all and follow Jesus Christ. We have difficulties and there are people having big difficulties in life. We have sufferings and there are people having big sufferings in life.

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Lan Can
said on August 11, 2019

I saw Tim playing foodball in US team and Manchester United many times. I only know he is a good goalkeeper. It is not easy for a US footballer can play in Premier League. But I didn’t know behind his success is a lot of afford and faith. Thank to Spotlight, you are not a channel to practice English, you give us a lot of experiences, lessons and knowledge. :)

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Honneur
said on August 18, 2019

I admire many sports like volley, basketball, football association, athleticism. Athletes as Larry Bird; Oscar Schmit; Pelé; Emil Zatopek and many others were my idols in my youth and now I like Neymar; Messi; Curry and Usain Bolt. They are, in my opinion, the best athletes in the world…