Volunteers needed for Special Olympics at Penn State

April 24, 2008

Volunteers Needed for Special Olympics at Penn State

Summer Games provide opportunities for University and community groups to adopt a venue and display their organization’s banner while helping these athletes

University Park, Pa.—This June, more than 2,500 Special Olympians and coaches will convene at Penn State’s University Park campus for the annual Summer Games of the Special Olympics. Preparation for the four-day event begins days before the athletes arrive, and volunteers are now being enlisted to help with dozens of pregame activities.

“The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games could not happen without thousands of local volunteers who pitch in each year to manage the Olympic Village, time events, plan award ceremonies and guide athletes,” said Craig Weidemann, vice president for Penn State Outreach and a member of the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Board. “Each year I hear from volunteers who are inspired by the enthusiasm, sportsmanship and dedication of the Special Olympics athletes.”

The games, the largest event of the year for Special Olympics Pennsylvania, begin with athlete arrivals and opening ceremonies on Thursday, June 5, and end with buses heading home on June 8. Athletes from all over Pennsylvania will enjoy three days of intense competition in aquatics, athletics, basketball, bowling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, softball and tennis at University Park venues and locations throughout the region.

Volunteers are needed to serve in many capacities: competition officials, bowling lane monitors, athlete escorts, assistants for athlete evaluators, award presenters, making beds and in various other ways. Volunteers who register early may request assignments, and families may register together for certain activities.

“This year, we are suggesting that community organizations, Penn State departments and other work areas consider adopting a venue, either for a four-hour shift or for the run of the games,” added Weidemann. “In addition to the great opportunities for team building, groups may display a banner identifying their affiliation, receive Summer Games volunteer T-shirts and gain immeasurably by working with some great athletes.”

Volunteer registration is available now at http://www.sopasummergames.org online. Groups interested in volunteering should contact Jeff Smith at jjs27@outreach.psu.edu.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009