What a shot! Hundreds of high school students across the state offered a helping hand and cheers of support for hoopster stars from across the state who competed in Special Olympics Delaware Basketball Skills competitions in December.
At each location athletes and their families were welcomed by enthusiastic cheerleaders and students who formed line arches for participants to walk or ride their wheelchairs through. Events were hosted by Padua Academy, which held their event at the Hockessin PAL, Sussex Tech, Caesar Rodney, William Penn, Smyrna and Middletown High Schools.
Athletes and Unified Partners (peers without disabilities) brought their best as athletes competed in dribbling, passing and shooting skills events. Athletes played at their own level, participating in basic skills events for young athletes to advanced skills competitions.
Nearly 100 students from each high school volunteered at each event, offering technical pointers, positive reinforcement and someone to bounce and pass the ball to. They also enjoyed lunch with the athletes and enjoyed taking part in medal ceremonies.
“Having our events at local schools across the state allows our school Special Olympics teams to compete in first-class venues during the school day, which is very convenient for everyone involved,” said Kylie Frazer, SODE director of school initiatives. “It also provides the high school student volunteers an opportunity to interact with our athletes and see firsthand their abilities on the court and how personable they can be off the court.”
Several volunteer photographers contributed to this story.