November 21, 2011

The University of the District of Columbia Women’s Basketball Lends a Hand in the 2011 Special Olympics D.C. Annual Fall Sports Classic

Washington, DC – On Friday, November 4th, the UDC Women's Basketball Team traveled to Catholic University to volunteer in the 2011 Special Olympics D.C. Annual Fall Sports Classic.

The Special Olympics D.C. Fall Sports Classic is held to support athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Included in the event is a Motor Activity Training Program (MATP) and a 3-vs-3 and 5-vs-5 basketball game. The goal of the Special Olympics Program is to improve physical fitness, sports skills, self-confidence, and the importance of fostering relationships. The UDC Women's Basketball Team devoted their time in assisting and organizing competition in various basketball stations during the MATP training exercise.  They emphasized training and participation as two important components of everyday life.
Other members of the UDC Women's Basketball Team held a variety of responsibilities throughout the Classic.  Some were designated scorekeepers, others participated as referees, and many were assigned to the "awards station".  They all provided positive encouragement during the 3-vs-3 competition that took place later during the Classic.  

Head Coach Jay Butler, who oversaw the Classic and made sure his players were assigned to the proper stations, saw this as an important opportunity for UDC players and coaches alike to gain perspective into the lives of the participants and welcomed the opportunity to give back.  "This is the basketball team's fourth year in volunteering with the Special Olympics D.C. Fall Sports Classic," he described.  "We really enjoy the opportunity to come to this great event and provide support to all the participants."  Guard Janelle Junior (Riverside, CA) stated that the event is about building confidence and helping the participants focus on each of their "abilities, not disabilities." 

 At the awards presentation, the Firebirds presented the participants with individualized awards achieved throughout the course of the Classic.  The Special Olympics Event Coordinator was very gratfeul for the continured support shown by UDC Athletics.

  

The Firebirds (3-0) return to action looking to continue their hot start as they go on the road to face Holy Family on Tuesday, November 22 at 7:00pm.  The Firebirds can be next seen at home on December 3, when they host Virginia Union at 2:00pm.