HONOLULU – BYU-Hawaii women's softball volunteered Saturday at the Special Olympics Hawaii Summer Games in Honlulu.
This was the second year the Seasiders have participated in the event. Special Olympics Hawaii serves over 3,500 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. They offer training in basketball, bocce, bowling, powerlifting, soccer, softball, swimming and track and field. Golf and tennis are included as demonstration sports. The Summer Games is one of the largest annual competitions, with over 800 athletes from around the state participating in the events. Special Olympics Hawaii depends on the help of over 6,000 volunteers each year who coach, officiate, fundraise and more.
The 11 Seasider softball players helped organize and hand out the silver and gold medals to the A and B divisions. They watched the whole A division game and cheered on both teams.
"There was a great amount of sportsmanship shown by all the teams and it was the amount of fun that the athletes had that really made the game," Makaela Williamson said. "It was so amazing to see the community and all the families supporting them."
Athletes who participate in the Special Olympics have intellectual disabilities, meaning they have limitations in two or more adaptive skills, such as communication, self-care, social skills, fundamental academics and other areas. Special Olympics provides opportunities to develop skills in sports and fitness in addition to life, social, vocational and transitioning skills. Volunteers play an important role in the development of these skills in the participants.