There were 45 HBU student-athletes who volunteered at the Special Olympics Bowling event in December at Copperfield Bowling Center on the city’s northwest side. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) coordinated the Huskies’ participation for the fourth time in the past five years.
The student-athletes escorted the participants in the opening ceremonies, provided moral support and cheered them on at each individual lane throughout the competition. The Huskies were able to have many meaningful conversations with the athletes and their families.
“The kids enjoyed spending time with our student athletes, especially since they were the youngest individuals there,” Heather Wyatt, HBU’s assistant director of Compliance and SAAC advisor, said. “Some of the student-athletes were able to jump in and play a few frames with the kids, which gave them even greater joy and the ability to interact.”
Special Olympics Texas is a year-round movement, holding more than 300 competitions annually on area, regional and state levels. Event divisions are based on age, gender and ability level to give athletes an equal chance to win. Each participant receives a medal or ribbon following their events.
The SAAC committee worked in conjunction with the “Southland Gives Back” initiative, the conference’s league-wide holiday service project, which is now in its 12th year. The Huskies have enjoyed working with Special Olympics Texas, working the bowling event from 2014 to 2016, and returning this year after volunteering at the Houston Food Bank following Hurricane Harvey.
Additionally, the track and field team volunteered at the 39th Annual Jingle Bell Express run by the Christian Community Service Center to provide new toys, books and holiday food packages to underprivileged children and their families.