ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University baseball team continued its annual tradition of volunteering with Special Olympics this past weekend at Harlem High School. The Regents baseball program has made it a point to dedicate time and lend a helping hand in the community each and every year, with Special Olympics being at the forefront of its efforts to give back to the Rockford community. Over the past twelve years the baseball program has assisted with multiple Special Olympic events including volleyball, tennis and bowling.
"It has been a very cool opportunity for our players to be able to volunteer with the Special Olympics," Head Baseball Coach Bob Koopmann stated. "This is one of the events that we look forward to participating in every year."
This year the RU baseball program spent the day helping out at the Special Olympics Regional Volleyball Championships. Rockford had a total of forty players there lending a hand as ball chasers, scoreboard operators and helping out with the skills participation part of the event.
"It was a blast helping with the Special Olympics," freshman infielder Zach Myers remarked. "All of the participants looked like they were having a great time. They competed, cheered, and even danced. One of them came up to us while we were working and showed us how to do some dance moves." Junior pitcher Joseph Valdez remarked, "Everyone there was a good-hearted athlete with a winning attitude. The games were competitive and exciting to watch." Brett Down also commented on working with the Special Olympians, "They're always happy, grateful and never complained about anything. It makes you realize how fortunate you are to be a college athlete." Seth Sanderson shared that sentiment. "Working at the Special Olympics was a very eye-opening experience. It made me realize that I should never take my abilities for granted."|
Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Through the power of sports, Special Olympics is able to help people discover new strengths, abilities, skills and success. Currently they have reached more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries.