Rama ‘RJT’ Tall has been a King County employee since 1990 as a Parks Specialist with the Department of Natural Resources and Parks. He is also one of the employee athletes who represented the State of Washington during the Seattle- and King County-hosted 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.
RJT competed on the soccer field. He and his manager, Parks District Maintenance Coordinator Gary Brown, shared some of RJT’s story before the games began.
“I’ve been playing soccer since 1987,” RJT told us. “It is important to me to be representing Washington Special Olympics Summer Games. We are trying to bring the trophy home to Washington State!”
Some of RJT’s biggest fans are his co-workers. “We as a shop, Duthie Hill Park and District Grand Ridge, are so excited about RJT being involved and being a participant,” Brown said. “Several of the crew have watched RJT practice and have attended his games, and will be supporting him during the 2018 USA Games.”
And support him they did!
There were two Washington teams in the games’ T-3 division; RJT’s Issaquah-based Washington Spirit and Jonathan Leckband’s Federal Way-based Washington Thunder. The Spirit placed third in the division, and the Thunder took gold!
RJT’s team regularly practice at the park complex, which allows Parks staff to see what areas need increased maintenance to have a healthy soccer field for all King County residents. “That playing time – that experience – then helps guide the maintenance activities on those field-turf fields, and helps train the other parks specialists,” Brown explained.
“RJT is one of our newer team members,” said Brown. “He transferred from another district and helps us maintain the Preston Community Center and Preston Athletic Field – one of his favorite sites.” RJT is really connected to Preston Athletic Field. It’s one of the reasons he transferred into the district. “He’s smiling and singing all day long. Whether it’s hot out, cold, rain, sunshine, winter, it doesn’t matter,” added Brown. “And that’s really contagious.”
The smiles RJT brings extend beyond his team to those visiting the park. “I like to meet people, talk to them, get to know them – in the parks,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of regulars here that know me, and they say, ‘You do a wonderful job in this park!’”
Click here to read the rest of the article and learn more about Rama Tall and King County’s supported employment program.
This article was written by Karl Himes for the KC Employee News.