Oct. 11, 2012
The Cougars helped escort competitors to the award stand, timed events and even competed in a relay with some of the young athletes.
"Hosting this meet is something we as a team look forward to every year," said head coach Augie Busch. "This event gives us an awesome perspective about what is important in life and what it means to appreciate the little things. Watching our women interact with the Special Olympics athletes is something that induces a ton of pride in me, and it fortifies my belief even further that we have an amazing group of student-athletes."
This is the fourth straight year Houston and the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center have teamed up to be the host site for the Houston Area Aquatics Special Olympics.
"Volunteering at the Special Olympics is always a fun event," said senior Moira Fraser. "This year was even a bit better than previous years because we got to swim in a relay with the athletes. The athletes get excited which makes us excited too. They love to talk to us and we love to talk back, we make friends volunteering at this meet and it is always good to see returning athletes still competing at this event."
"337 swimmers participated in traditional swimming events and there 45 athletes at the leisure pool who were learning to swim" said Renee Klovenski, Program Director. "The morning kicked off with our opening ceremonies, and during the opening ceremonies we offered the UH student-athletes the opportunity to participate in the Unified Relays. The Special Olympics athletes jumped at the chance to swim with the Cougars, so much so, that we had to create three Unified Teams!"
"A huge 'Thank You' is to be extended to each of the ladies from Houston and all of their coaching staff for their efforts and time at this event. Athletes expand their understanding and abilities when they have positive exchanges with like sports athletes; respect is generated and self-esteem is built on all sides when athletes are able to understand that other athletes may be different, but the love and passion of sport is always the same."
About Special Olympics Texas
The mission of Special Olympics Texas is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
For more information on Special Olympics Texas, visit their website at sotx.org.
Special Olympics is a privately funded 501C3 and volunteer driven program. Currently the Greater Houston Area serves over 3800 athletes in 19 different sports, Motor Activities Training Program for the multiplied impaired and the Young Athletes Program for children age 2 to 7 in a motor development and play program.
Houston returns to the pool this weekend with a pair of dual meets at Florida International and Miami this Friday and Saturday.