Born with spina bifida and confined to a wheelchair, Leitch, 22, doesn’t know his father, was abandoned by his mother because of his disability and was beaten by his grandmother, who raised him.http://www.winnipegsun.com/2013/06/11/stuck-behind-bars
That left him with little hope.
In 2009 he discovered a place where he felt special.
Initially befriending the late assistant coach Richard Harris at training camp, Leitch became one of the most loyal Bomber fans you’ll ever find, attending not only every home game, but every practice for the next four years.
Players and coaches became his friends, quarterback Alex Brink his closest.
The twinkle back in his eye, Leitch began taking photographs of players at practice, using his cell phone.
Players saw his knack for photography and pitched in to buy him a Canon camera, and he’d post photos on Instagram and Facebook, where players’ families often provided feedback.
Well, the pictures have stopped.
It seems somebody has decided Leitch can’t be on the sideline during practice, anymore.
“Some people thought I was dead or something,? Leitch was saying, Tuesday. “I didn’t show up for a few days, and they were, like, ‘Where you been at?’ I’ve been OK. I just wasn’t invited.?
Oh, he was allowed to park his chair in the tunnel for one practice, much too far away for a decent photo. Generally, he’ll be banished to the wheelchair seating area, up in the stands.
“And there’s another issue — the wheelchair seats,? Leitch said. “There’s a railing, so I can’t even see the game. It looks like I’m watching the game through a prison cell.?
While able-bodied people could at least get down to the front row for practice, Leitch can’t even do that.
Leitch says players have told him they’re disappointed he’s no longer allowed to do his thing as the unofficial team photographer.
Brink, no longer a Bomber, took to Twitter to express his feelings.
“Sad to see the #Bombers are restricting occasional field access to a wheelchair bound kid who wants to take pictures at practice,? Brink tweeted. “Apparently ‘tough, new security policy’ is high on the priority list this yr.?
Now, Leitch is fine with having less access at the new stadium.
What he would like is a proper explanation, and maybe a compromise, instead of a simple, “That’s the rules.?
Because of his disability David's the one who'll draw the media interest.
But he's not the only fan who's dissatisfied with the Bomber's new high security policy. For years and years Bomber fans have been allowed, indeed encouraged, to go down on the field and mingle with the Bomber coaches and players after practice. Many people would bring their children along and if I had a dollar for every picture that's been taken of Milt Stegall holding someone's kid ... . Well, no more. Some bright spark has decided to disallow it.
So here's a question to the fans around the league who attend their team's practices: What is your team's policy regarding mingling with the coaches and players at practice.