by RANDI CANTRELL | photos by Spark Photography

Dreaming Above Par

faces_leclair1For the past three years, 21-year-old Joshua LeClair has been dreaming of golfing in the Southern California Special Olympics Summer Games. Since that time, he has been playing on the San Diego Rancho Bernardo Aces Golf Team, created by Escondido resident Fred Rose and Rancho Bernardo residents Neal and Beverly Berkin. This year Joshua’s dream came true, and he was selected by his head coaches to play in the Regional Summer Games at CSU Long Beach.

faces_leclair5Though he started playing just a short time ago, Joshua quickly excelled in golf with guidance from his coaches, help from Special Olympics, and, of course, a lot of hard work. According to Joshua, he started out as a Level 1 beginner, learning basic skills and golf etiquette. He had no experience in the game, but was driven and motivated to learn. He advanced to Level 2 within his first year, and competed in two 2015 Special Olympics Competitions, San Diego Regional Spring Games and Inland Empire Regional Spring Games, where he finished in second place at both competitions. By year two, Joshua was already a Level 4 player, and began competing in Individual Stroke Play in 2016, where he won a bronze at the 2016 Special Olympics Spring Games in San Diego and a silver in the Inland Empire Regional Spring Games. Finally, this June, Joshua not only achieved his goal of playing in the Special Olympics Summer Games, but he won a gold medal. Joshua shared, “I was so proud and excited. It was the best day of my life!”

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Name: Joshua Michael LeClair
Community: Rancho Bernardo since 2014
Hobbies & Interests: Aviation, music, and golf
Favorite Places in 92128: Bernardo Heights Country Club, Oaks North Golf Course,
Rancho Bernardo Library


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faces_leclair2In addition to playing golf, Joshua enjoys aviation, music, watching old movies, and staying active in his community. Currently he is a member of the Kiwanis Aktion Club and the Leadership Club of Abraxas High School, where he is finishing up his final year in the Transition Program. He plans to go to College 2 Career at Miramar College in the spring of next year, and will continue competing in golf at the Special Olympics, in addition to serving as a global messenger for the program. When asked where he gets his inspiration and drive for golf, Joshua said, “My mom is the biggest inspiration in my life. She has always encouraged and supported me, even through difficult times. She is also our Special Olympics Golf Team Mom!”