Presbyterian College will be hosting Special Olympics on Friday, March 24, 2017. The thirty-seventh annual tradition will be held at Bailey Memorial Stadium, with this year’s participating athletes traveling from Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, and Newberry counties.
By hosting an event that allows the visiting athletes to shine and show off their skills, student athletes at Presbyterian College are also able serve others and ensure that they are having fun on this special day. It’s also a day to bring the community together to support these athletes and watch them perform at the event.
The Presbyterian College Motto dum vivimus servimus (while we live, we serve) is shown through action on the day of Special Olympics as various student organizations at PC come together to help serve at the event. We talked to a few students to see how they serve through Special Olympics.
Jacob Kennedy, a junior at Presbyterian College, serves as Co-director for Special Olympics. As Co-director, he organizes the athletic events, advises the use of the budget and ensures that the event runs smoothly. However, Special Olympics was not something Kennedy was interested in at first.
“In all honesty, I didn’t want to do it. It was assigned to me by the Student Volunteer Services coordinator. However, this is my second year doing it, and I love it!” said Kennedy.
Although Special Olympics is a great opportunity for students like Kennedy to participate and serve others, the day is really all about the students who participate.
“The athletes are what make it special for me,” Kennedy said. “This is a day they can be their true selves through sport . . . during Special Olympics, it’s not about me; it’s about the athletes having fun!”
Anna Paige Simmons, a senior at Presbyterian College, was a volunteer at last year’s event, where she volunteered to do face painting for the students as a fun activity during the games. Simmons said she enjoyed being able to paint the students faces and talk with them.
“The kids were so joyful, and you could tell they felt it was their day to shine. I loved being a part of that!” she said.
Simmons is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, one of many student organizations to set up a table in the “Olympic Village,” where the athletes and their families go to play games.
The event is open to the entire community. By having an event that allows students with disabilities to express themselves and show off their talents, they are able to step out and show off their skills. We hope that this article encourages you to come out and support these precious students.
–by guest authors Olivia Vena, Lauren Dowdle, and Madison Mann