Clubs come together for Special Olympics track meet


Natalie Brink

The Special Olympics invited students from elementary school to high school to represent their school districts in track and field events.

Athletes from all over Central Texas attended the Special Olympics track and field meet April 26-27. Students from Vandegrift volunteered at the event.

“The Special Olympics benefits not only the athletes participating, it also helps the community,” vocational instructional assistant Olivia Gallarda said. “Participation in the Special Olympics help the athletes and the community share their gifts and fosters a more inclusive society.”

Students heard about Special Olympics through A.D. club or through other organizations. Volunteers escorted athletes to the award ceremonies, helped the judges and worked the concession stand.

“I wanted to volunteer because I’d never attended any special olympics, but I thought it would be really cool to see,” junior Raquel Guerrero said. “It was a really interesting experience because there were so many people there. I was really shocked to see how many people had come, and it was incredible how many people we had to serve.”

Junior April Choe heard about the meet through the IB group chat, where a student shared a link asking for volunteers. She decided to volunteer because she had the time and wanted to witness athletes achieving their dreams.

“I escorted teams to the awards ceremony, where they received their medals and ribbons for their races,” Choe said. “My favorite part about volunteering was meeting new people and seeing all of the happy people around me receiving their medals.”

Senior Abby Dennis placed first in the softball toss. Guerrero was able to witness some of the races and said that was the best part about volunteering.

“I liked that part the best because there’s so much positivity coming out of every event and everyone was cheering each other on and the participants were super happy with how they did no matter how many awards they got,” she said. “It was a really fun experience, and I hope I get to volunteer again.”