Seattle Academy’s Community Service Organization meets every Tuesday to discuss what they can do for the community. Kids have ideas of their own, and the leaders, Rick DuPree and Mia Mlekarov, suggest events and programs for those who want to help but do not know how. It is very easy to sign up for the events, and most of the meetings are not mandatory.
This month, CSO participated in the Special Olympics Unified Sports event on Saturday, April 18 at Seattle University. The event advocated the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in sports and held a soccer tournament filled with integrated teams from colleges in Washington. The event focused on the idea “play united to live united.” The maximum amount of service hours available for the event was 12 hours.
For the students who arrived in the morning at 7:30AM, there was a pep rally in which students got to cheer on and pump up the teams as they arrived. After all the teams arrived, there was a march from the Seattle University commons on 12th Avenue to the Astro Gym on 14th Avenue, complete with a marching band and plenty of coffee cups in hand.
At the Astro Gym, the opening ceremony kicked things off with guest speakers and empowering speeches. After the opening ceremony, students got to set up the fields, organize cheers, and support the teams playing. While teams were competing, students were encouraged to be a “fan in the stand” and to make some noise for everyone participating in the games.
In the afternoon there was a carnival in the Astro Gym where everyone could get together and enjoy some popcorn, arcade games, a bouncy house, and small soccer ball games. After the carnival, the student volunteers helped clean up and get things ready for the closing ceremony.
Students got to watch as the teams competed until the tournament was complete. Once students helped take down the field, everyone headed into the Astro Gym for closing ceremonies. There was free food, inspirational speakers, and a warming sense of unity. After eating and listening to speakers, students helped clean up and were gifted t-shirts for their contribution to the community and the event.
Special Olympics Unified Sports is an incredible organization that is championing a very important cause. Seattle Academy CSO members got to enjoy a day of helping others, cheering for the teams, and advocating for inclusive sports. If this event sounds interesting to you, make sure to mark your calendar for next year’s Special Olympics Unified Sports event, because CSO is definitely going back! In the meantime, make sure to go to CSO’s bake-sale on this Wednesday, May 13 through Friday, May 15 at lunch. The proceeds from the bake sale will help support the people affected by the earthquake in Nepal.