All Blacks’ Barrett brothers share sister’s story, raise Down syndrome awareness | Newshub

All Blacks’ Barrett brothers share sister’s story, raise Down syndrome awareness | Newshub

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Like so many All Blacks fans, Zara is
keen to get their attention after the game. And she does. She gets special attention because Beauden Barrett is her big brother. BEAUDEN: “Hey Zars… How are you? Do you want to jump over here? BEAUDEN: “How are you?” ZARA: “I’m good.” BEAUDEN: “You enjoy that?” ZARA: “Yep.” BEAUDEN: “Close, eh? Were you nervous?” ZARA: “Yeah, nervous.” Zara, or ‘Zars’ as she is called, is 16 years
old. She’s fun. She’s kind. She also has Down syndrome, but she doesn’t know she is any different. She just loves life and she loves her brother. ISRAEL DAGG: “Hello, can I have a hug? How are you?” ZARA: “I’m good.” ISRAEL: “You enjoy that? That was good, eh?” BEAUDEN: “Bit nervous, eh Zars?” ZARA: “Yeah… I was nervous about my brother.” ISRAEL: “He played extremely well though. You should be very proud.” ZARA: “Sure was!” There was good reason to be nervous. It ended up a 16-all draw with the Springboks. I was invited along to the game two weeks ago, with the Barrett family – mum Robyn and dad Smiley. They have eight kids. There’s five brothers – Beaudy, Scotty, Jordie, Kane and Blake. That’s a lot for anyone to remember. After the game rugby is a part
of family life. BEAUDEN: “Do you know I can watch the game on here? Look – from last night.” BEAUDEN: “That’s my homework.” And so is just hanging out. This time with Beauden and Jordie, and Beaudy’s dogs – miniature schnauzers – Monty and Blue. With Beauden, Scott and Jordie all in the All Blacks, this rugby story
is well-known. But the Barretts are opening up about Zara to raise awareness
about Down syndrome. JORDIE: “Who is your best brother?” ZARA: “You two.” BEAUDEN: “It’s always the brothers that are with her BEAUDEN: “who are the favourites at the
time… It’s awesome. She’s so honest and BEAUDEN: “we love that about her.” Down syndrome is a genetic condition that happens to one baby in every thousand born in New
Zealand – and it is never anybody’s fault. BEAUDEN: “People with Down syndrome need to feel loved… valued and included.” Zara, like most people with Down syndrome, faces challenges with her speech. But being part of a big family has really
helped her improve. JORDIE: “For Zara, we’ve just treated her normal the whole time… Inclusiveness is massive for any JORDIE: “Down syndrome person in New Zealand.” The Barretts are dairy farmers in Pungarehu in coastal Taranaki. They say the key
to raising the All Blacks Beauden, Jordie and Scott, as well as giving Zara
a great life has been treating everyone equally. SCOTT: “She’s funny, cheeky, and very honest. So if you’re playing up – she’ll SCOTT: “tell you. If you’re being a lovely brother, she’ll tell you that too. Not everyone with Down syndrome is so
lucky and almost all of them need one-on-one speech therapy – which actually receives no Government funding. The UpsideDowns charity says it costs
families an average of $4000 a year and up to $10,000. BEAUDEN: “It’s so important so they
can feel included in conversation, in BEAUDEN: “social circumstances, just so they can feel involved and feel that they have value.” So the Barretts are working with
UpsideDowns to fundraise so others can get the therapy they need – and give them
the gift of speech. BEAUDEN: “Zara without speech couldn’t keep us honest, BEAUDEN: “couldn’t… share her views and points, BEAUDEN: “and… tell us how much she
actually loves us… cares about us and BEAUDEN: “supports us. So it’s super special that she can do that.” BEAUDEN: “You’re awesome, eh Zars?” ZARA: “Stop it, you.” This ordinary Kiwi family, all of
them capable of extraordinary things.

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