By Christine Miles ||Contributing Writer
Special Olympics is an international non-profit organization that provides “year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community” (specialolympicspa.org).
Last Sunday, March 24, the sisters of Alpha Xi Delta and the brothers of Zeta Beta Tau welcomed numerous Special Olympics athletes from Lancaster county to campus for a day of friendly competition. The day consisted of a game of sharks and minnows, basketball, volleyball, soccer, a competitive game of hula hoop rock-paper-scissors, and a silly relay race.
All the volunteers from Alpha Xi Delta and Zeta Beta Tau got to meet and play alongside all of the athletes, and friendships were formed instantly. The Alpha Xi Delta Philanthropy VP, Lindsay Kate Wanner, described the event as “really fun”, explaining that she “loved seeing how much [the Special Olympics athletes] enjoyed it. They made it fun for [her] because of how much fun they had. It was pure joy and… really refreshing.” Sister Ashley Atcavage says the event “was the highlight of [her] weekend”. The president of Zeta Beta Tau, Noah Blank, says “it was a truly heartwarming event. We met so many wonderful athletes and the brothers are all excited to participate in any future Special Olympics event.”
Alpha Xi Delta and Zeta Beta Tau look forward to hosting similar events with Special Olympics in the future.
Everyone left the event on Sunday with a smile knowing that everyone was a winner that day. Competing alongside the wonderful men and women from Special Olympics proved to be both fun and inspirational. The members of Zeta Beta Tau and Alpha Xi Delta can’t wait to see their new friends again next semester!
If you’re interested in becoming a Special Olympics volunteer in Pennsylvania, please visit this website: https://specialolympicspa.org/become-a-volunteer
Senior Christine Miles is a Contributing Writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.