Special Olympics

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Special Olympics

Gracen Shepps, News Editor

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Special Olympics is an amazing opportunity for students of MASH. Mechanicsburg, along with several other local schools, come together twice a year for Special Olympics. Students with special needs get to be cheered on by their peers, while they compete in many track and field events. Special Olympics took place October 15th, and there is another Special Olympics on April 16th of next year. 

 

There are many ways to get involved with Special Olympics, and become a Special Olympics buddy. In the Fall and spring, there are emails sent out with information about being a volunteer. From there, it is necessary to fill out an application, and a permission slip. Then you will have to be approved to volunteer. This fall, there were 44   buddies and 42 athletes from Mechanicsburg alone. All together there was roughly 350 athletes. Sophomore, Gigi Guay, a buddy for Mechanicsburg, shared, “This was a really great experience. We had a lot of fun getting to cheer everyone on and I would definitely recommend being a buddy to anyone considering it.” 

 

This program brings students from many schools together to encourage and boost each other up. Buddies and athletes alike have a lot of fun cheering, dancing, and getting to know one another. In between events, students get to enjoy the Olympic Village. This consists of dancing, games, and face paint. Mrs. Diegel explained that this event is all about, “Having fun and encouraging one another’” and that,“Everyone comes together to cheer each other on.”

 

This event truly means a lot to the students with special needs. It gives them an opportunity to focus on their skills instead of their disabilities. By coming together with fellow students, it helps them to feel accepted and welcomed in our school. Mrs Diegel also shared, “Having another MASH student cheering them on helps them to feel normal, and it means a lot to them.” 

 

Overall it is very easy to see why Special Olympics is such an amazing opportunity for students of Mechanicsburg. There are many different ways to help the special needs students, beyond participating as a buddy in Special Olympics. Pals of MASH is a club that meets during FLEX. If students are interested in helping with the Special Olympics, but do not want to do it through MASH, the Area M Special Olympics are always in need of buddies to cheer their athletes on. By being a buddy for Special Olympics, not only are you having fun with peers, you get to  support students with special needs, and help them to feel accepted.