Special Olympics Jul 7, 2011
Exercising regularly, belonging to a team, and practicing to more fully develop your talent are just three of the benefits that the students at St. Coletta gain from taking part in Special Olympics.
This year we've had 86 student athletes participateâ€“ the biggest delegation in DC Special Olympics!
Several of our students recently competed in and distinguished themselves in the Summer Games held at Catholic University. A special relay race opens the games. Four athletes are paired with soldiers representing each branch of the militaryâ€”Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
You can imagine how honored and excited two of our students, Devonte and Antonio, were to be selected to run the relay. On this day Antonio proved to be a real star. He anchored the Navy team. As we all cheered him on, Antonio ran with all the speed and passion a runner can muster and came from 20 meters back to win the race for his team. Both of our runners will remember this special race forever.
The St. Coletta volleyball team really shone at the Summer Games too. They made it all the way to the final rounds of the competition. But in order to play for the gold medal, the team of twelve students had to spend the night in the dorms. This was a new experience for many of the players and required several members of our staff to stay with them too.
But the next day the team played extremely well and won the final game! Each team member proudly went home with a gold medal around his or her neck. But even more importantly, the skills they gained learning to play volleyball and work together as a team will stay with them for the rest of their lives. I wish you could have seen them grow in confidence and ability over the course of the year.
Participating in Special Olympics and other activities goes well beyond the standard curriculum. It is only because of the generous support from people like you and the true dedication of our staff that enables our kids grow through this tremendous sports program.
Not only does our staff provide the coaching and encouragement that the students need, but they transport the kids to after school events, feed them dinner and take them home afterward.
When events are out of town and call for an overnight stay, we take the students to the event, pay for hotel and related expenses and then bring the students back to their homes. For some of our students, this may be their first time staying in a hotel.
Without this level of added support, many of our students would not be able participate in Special Olympics. Their families often do not have a car or the extra financial resources needed, have conflicting work schedules or other childcare duties that preclude them from taking their children back and forth to these events.
But because of your special contributions, we are able to fulfill our mission and fully serve children and adults with intellectual disabilities and also support their families. One of the ways we do this is making sure our students gain important experiences, like participating in Special Olympics.