The other day, someone asked me the question, “What is one activity you’re involved in that you’re probably going to remember forever?” My response was simple, being apart of Champions Together. Two years ago I had never spent any of my time with a Special Olympics athlete, now, its one of my favorite things to do. The athletes remind me why I love sports so much, it’s not always about winning, it’s about being on a team and doing what you love.
I’ve done a few events at my school promoting Champions Together and have had an unbelievable amount of positive outcomes from them. My first event was a competition between 2 schools of who could get the most signatures on our “Spread the Word to End the R-Word” banners at our rival football game. We received 450+ signatures from our two tiny 2A schools!
Recently, I did a fundraiser where we made rally towels with the Champions Together logo on them and had our fans wave them around while we had a Special Olympic scrimmage at the half time of our varsity basketball game. Our cheer block was louder during the Special Olympics scrimmage then they were during our varsity game! We raised $975 that night with the unbelievable support and donations from our fans.
Lastly, my favorite event, polar plunges. I participated in the Valparaiso University plunge the past 2 years and this year was by far my favorite of the two. My goal was to raise $1000 and my team raised a total of $1,750! We were also the biggest group at the plunge with 7 students, our athletic director and even our school board president! That day also accomplished my goal of qualifying my school for a Champions Together banner for our school gym.
Watching our partnership grow more and more each day has been such a fulfilling experience. It’s been a privilege and honor to be apart of Champions Together. It has changed my life in so many different ways; shaping me into the person I am today and making me realize that EVERYONE deserves the chance to be included.