WESTMINSTER, Md. - On Wednesday, April 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., student-athletes and coaches from the Stevenson athletics department volunteered at the Carroll County Special Olympics held at Winters Mill High School.
Members of the department provided mentorship and encouragement to the participants while taking part in games and the medal ceremony. Prior to participating, the student-athletes and staff also attended an on-campus training session in Rockland Hall.
"The response was excellent by our student-athletes and our coaching staff," said head men's soccer coach John Plevyak who coordinated the event on behalf of the department.
"We were able to bring 62 people that day and it was an awesome event. It really stepped up our profile in the community. I was really proud of everyone involved."
Prior to this year, the NCAA, specifically Division III, entered into an official partnership with the Special Olympics. The purpose of the partnership is to improve the lives of Special Olympics athletes through their involvement with Division III student-athletes and to foster a mutual learning experience between the two.
Through this partnership, Division III student-athletes across the country are encouraged to participate in existing Special Olympics events, create their own events or otherwise serve to support Special Olympics organizations.
This partnership provides the opportunity for student-athletes to engage with Special Olympics and collaborate with existing student-led programs on campus.
The Special Olympics is a program designed for athletes, adults and children, with intellectual disabilities worldwide. The events allow the individuals to be celebrated for their accomplishments and recognized. The goal of Special Olympics is to reach out to the 200 million people in the world with intellectual disabilities.
People are encouraged to become a fan of the Divison III Facebook page here and the NCAA will donate $1 to Special Olympics, up to $5,000.