Key Club volunteers at Special Olympics


photo by Christina Nguyen

Key Club members play volleyball with club sponsor Ntiza Ariza during the Special Olympics event. At the event, members played soccer, volleyball, track and basketball with the special needs athletes.

Ahilyn Aguilar, News Editor

On Sunday, Feb.26, Key Club members volunteered with the annual Special Olympics event at Lake Mary Preparatory.

Key club volunteers participated by competing against the Special Olympics athletes, and members were free to choose which sport to play in. Twenty members attended the event and were required to turn in a form before participating.

The event was organized by the Seminole County director Victoria Johnson-Soto, who was in charge of volunteers and the games played. Games included basketball, volleyball, soccer and track.

Volunteers and participants of the Olympics varied in ages and grade level, from middle schoolers to high schoolers to adults supervising the games.

“We usually don’t have the chance to be in touch with such special and kind people,” adviser Nitza Ariza said. “Seeing their excitement and happiness makes you forget about everything and brings you a sense of childhood innocence.”  

Marking the second year of Key Club attending the event, volunteers moved from supervising games to participating in the games and playing with the athletes. Those who did not want to take part, helped coaches and the event staff as timekeepers for the runners and scorekeepers for the rest of the sports.

After the games, special needs athletes who won got awards and were cheered on by the volunteers and people who attended.

“Special Olympics is one of my favorite events to volunteer at,” senior Christina Nguyen said. “Looking at them smile and [get] excited when you’re cheering for them is definitely one of the top moments of the event.”