Posted by: John Moss, Tulsa's Channel 8 Sports - email
On the practice field, Cascia Hall's Shane Allison looks pretty much like any other high school football coach, getting their players ready for their upcoming game. It's off the field, however, where you see how unique of a person Allison really is. He has some pretty special plans once this season ends.
"That's been a dream of mine, to work by the ocean," Allison says. He'll get that chance this January, when he heads to Curacao for an exceptional opportunity.
"I'll be doing an internship as a dolphin trainer, and what they do is use the dolphins as dolphin-assisted therapy for kids with developmental disorders like autism, aspergers, and down syndrome. I'll be responsible for the dolphins during the therapy session. The kids will do something, and the dolphin will do something in return so it gives the kid an incentive to interact."
When people find out about Allison's upcoming trip, the reaction is pretty much the same - "how did you get that? How'd you land that? That sort of thing," Allison says.
But becoming a dolphin trainer is something he wants to do long term - not just for six weeks in Curacao.
"I found a place in Hawaii, Hawaiian Island Recovery, that does the same sort of therapy with drug addicts, people in recovery. They do it with wild dolphins out there. So, while I'm in Curacao, I'm going to try and get as much diver training as I can, further my training, get rescue diver training, that sort of thing. So yeah, I'm going to send out resumes after I get done, absolutely."
A football coach inspiring to be a dolphin trainer - I'd say that's something you don't see every day in Oklahoma.
"I enjoy coaching football. I know I'll enjoy working with the dolphins and the kids in that capacity. It's going to be great."
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