posted on: Thursday October 31, 2019
by Peter Mazzella ’22
The Providence College Special Olympics group hosts events to transform lives through competitions such as swim meets, basketball tournaments, and even an end of the year dance. Using the excitement of competition, Special Olympics can change lives.
Special Olympics is the largest organization worldwide for people with intellectual disabilities. They host over five million athletes from 193 different countries. The organization also requires many volunteers.
Recently, the PC Special Olympics club held an informational meeting with the intention of getting new volunteers to help at Special Olympics events that will be coming up in the next few months.
On Nov. 23, PC Special Olympics will be hosting their Unified Basketball Tournament, which brings many opportunities for those interested to get involved.
Some roles that students can take on are electronic and written scorekeepers, who are responsible for keeping score and cheering on players; announcers, who bring enthusiasm and play-by-play commentary of the game; as well as those distributing awards during the ceremony.
These positions are not the only ones that PC Special Olympics offers; volunteers can help as court monitors, who watch over the courts and players’ actions as well as fans in the stands, to encourage good sportsmanship and having fun. With a plethora of options and different ways to get involved, everyone can help to make a difference in someone’s life.
Special Olympics Coordinator Catherine Flugel ‘20 spoke about the meeting, saying, “It was a great turnout, there were many people who showed enthusiasm towards helping out during the upcoming events which is exactly what we were looking for!”
Coordinating and planning events for PC Special Olympics is no small feat. Flugel works tirelessly to ensure every aspect is in order, which is why the task of gathering a large group of willing volunteers is essential.
With a successful meeting behind them, the next task is to arrange volunteer roles. Flugel is not alone, however. There is a group of individuals who assist in the coordination and role assignment of volunteers to ease the process.
Sarah Kerrigan ‘20 is Flugel’s “right hand.” She is the Awards Coordinator, and the two work to bring the joy and energy that each one of these events delivers for all that are involved.
Kerrigan gave her take on the importance of preparation for each of the events, stating, “Being prepared is the most necessary part of each of our events. If everyone is not on the same page, then it is hard to get things accomplished, which is why we take the time to make sure each of our volunteers knows their task and where to find us during the event.”
PC Special Olympics has over 70 active members who range from event coordinators to volunteers. There is no shortage of staff when these events come around.
The number of people involved in these events shows how much students at PC care about volunteering.This strong community atmosphere that the club emphasizes is something that will be carried on for generations to come and will continue to serve and benefit the Special Olympics community.