Olympic athletes need assistance

Special olympics program wants more volunteers

Joey Eovaldi, Sports Editor

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Although there are only a few volunteers to start off the new Special Olympics program, it has momentum and athletes already looking forward to their first competition on April 23.

The program features sports practices for student athletes with disabilities every Tuesday and Thursday morning at seven.

“Special Olympics is geared to incorporate student athletes with disabilities,” physical education teacher Luis Vargas said. “It’s accessible for ETHS students to participate and to assist.”

All students and teachers can volunteer to help run the practices and engage with the students. As of now, the program practices a limited number of sports including volleyball, basketball, track, floor hockey and softball. With more experienced volunteers, the number of sports played could expand to the 23 played in the Special Olympics.

Volunteer students like juniors Kit Murphy and Helen Frieman heard of the program through the physical education classes, and have been involved in it since.

“I’ve had a really great experience through the support system of helping students with disabilities,” Frieman said. “Special Olympics builds friendships and motivates me to act better and be active. It’s a great learning experience.”

On top of being a great learning experience, the program helps connect the community through a series of practices that teaches students new techniques to play sports.

With a greater number of volunteers the Special Olympics program can expand and become a year round program with an opportunity for sports of all seasons.

“We need enough student athletes and volunteers year round to allow our student athletes to compete in year round competitions,” Vargas said.

As of right now, their one competition is on April 23 at Prospect High School, where multiple sports will played against students from other schools.

Competitions like this allow student athletes with disabilities to show off their hard work and skills from practice.

The Special Olympics program is off to an amazing start and athletes love the practices. In order to keep the program running successfully, students with disabilities hope for more volunteers to practice with and more competitions to showcase their skills.