What started out as a couple of drawings and a pair of duct-tape soccer cleats turned into a custom-made uniform and shoes for a young Edmonton soccer fan, thanks to Adidas.
Nearly two years ago, Jasper Fleming and his friend Sam were bored, so they decided to design a soccer jersey.
“We spent about a good hour just planning and then we started drawing it,” Jasper, now 12, said on Monday.
The boys drew out the front and back of their jersey and shorts, complete with a soccer-ball logo, number and name. They even designed a pair of cleats, using nothing but duct tape and a black marker.
Taking it one step further, the boys decided to send their designs to Adidas. When the boys didn’t hear back from the company, they didn’t think much of it. After all, Jasper said he was only able to find a general address for the sports company.
Then, about six weeks ago, Jasper’s mother received a surprising phone call. A rep from Adidas was on the other end of the call, asking for Jasper’s shoe size.
A few weeks later, a package from Adidas showed up at the Flemings’ home.
“I open it and I saw Adidas and I was like, ‘OH!'” Jasper recalled.
Inside the box was Jasper’s official custom-made jersey and cleats, as well as an official Colombia jersey, Jasper’s favourite team.
“I pulled out the jersey and I’m like, ‘Woah. This is exactly like I remember it,'” Jasper said, having almost forgotten what the designs looked it.
“This is exactly – exactly – what I asked for.”
“I think it came as a really big surprise because it is such a big company,” added Jasper’s mom, Lise Fleming.
Lise said her son became passionate about drawing after he was diagnosed with dyslexia in Grade 3. She said he thrived in both sports and drawing, after struggling to keep up with his peers at school.
She was thrilled when she saw her son’s face light up with joy when he opened his gift from Adidas.
“It’s just such a special thing for a parent to see,” Lise said. “It’s exciting for him to see his designs come to life. But from a parent’s point of view, just to see that when you have a dream you really should just try to see where it can go and being able to be persistent and never give up is something that really showed through when it came to this story.
“I think this is something he’ll treasure forever.”
Jasper immediately called his friend Sam to come over and check out their designs. Jasper gave Sam the Colombia jersey so he didn’t feel left out.