By: Josleene Marti ’19, Staff writer
The Special Olympics allows LVC students to get involved with the community and support those with physical and intellectual disabilities; the best part is participation can happen here in Lebanon county.
The Lebanon County Special Olympics is a program that allows those with disabilities to train and compete in sporting events. The program has a club at Lebanon Valley College. The program and the club are entirely volunteer run and provide services to the athletes and families for free.
The Special Olympics could not run if it were not for the volunteers. Club president Hayley Cobb, a senior sociology and family studies major, strongly encourages students to volunteer.
“I babysat for special needs children freshman year and I thought it would be good to get more involved,” Cobb said. “I love being a part of this club.”
In order to become an eligible athlete in the Special Olympics, participants must have a disability that limits their learning and adaptive skills. The age requirement for all athletes is eight years old and a medical application must be filed prior to participation. Medical forms may be obtained on the Lebanon County Special Olympics website.
Some of the events in the Special Olympics include power lifting, bowling and soccer. Also, the Arnold Sports Center hosts the Long Distance Run/Walk on Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. until October 26.
“The most rewarding thing is when you help athletes practice their sport before the tournament and see the smile on their faces when they complete their goals,” Cobb said.
The club is open to anyone who wishes to join and is a great opportunity for students to become more socially involved on campus.
“I think that the people who are a part of the Special Olympics have great hearts,” Kayla Aponte, a junior athletic training major, said. “I would definitely consider joining the club.”
The Special Olympics benefits the community and lifts the spirits of all those who participate, allowing people to make the world a better place. If interested in volunteering, contact Cobb at firstname.lastname@example.org.