Friday, October 11, 2013

WA State Special Olympics

I had the absolute privilege of being a volunteer carer at the WA State Special Olympics today at Fairbridge Village in Pinjarra The event officially begins with the opening ceremony held at 5pm tonight, and goes over the weekend. The Special Olympics held sporting games such as basketball, aquatics, equestrian, bocce, softball, cricket and ten pin bowling.

UWA reserved a few spots for students to volunteer and I was lucky enough to hear about it just in time to go along. We arrived in the morning and helped do a bit of setting up. When the athletes began to arrive, we showed some of the guys from the men's basketball team to their cabin and spent the day with them until their other carers came. 

I cannot begin to describe what an amazing day it was. I had so much fun hanging out with all the amazing athletes. They were so friendly and full of life! They were excited to be at the Olympics, and for a few of them it was their first time. I loved getting to know them and joking around with them. A lot of the guys that we spent the day with had an awesome sense of humour and the laughs were endless. 

One of the highlights of my day was the running of the Special Olympics torch. As we were driving home, we had to stop to let the runners pass. One of the guys we spent time with as holding the Special Olympics flag and was holding it up so proudly. When they came close, my fellow volunteers are I cheered his name and encouraged him on. You should have seen the look on his face :) He was SO happy! It was like pure joy. An absolutely gorgeous sight to see. It's moments like this that I feel so passionate about disability support and helping them do great things with their lives.

We were only volunteering for this afternoon rather than over the weekend, and it was actually quite sad to say farewell to the wonderful people we met. They have all left a special mark on my heart and I feel so lucky that I had the chance to be involved in such a great event. It's a shame I didn't get to see any of them participate in their events but I am hoping that next year I will be able to volunteer for the whole weekend :)

Look how happy he is :D The torch is being held by one of the girls in the basketball team :)

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