After previous attempts to found a Special Olympics Club at UVU failed due to lack of momentum, Andrew Goates, president of Special Olympics UVU, has finally succeeded.
Goates successfully founded Special Olympics UVU two years ago after his volunteer experience with Special Olympics BYU inspired him to start a program on our campus.
“To me, coaching is the most rewarding. I feel like you get more interaction with the athletes. It’s been our goal for a long time to have a team because we can make the biggest impact that way,” Goates said.
And have a team we do. After two years as a club, Special Olympics UVU has officially become a team, and their first event will be this summer. Competing with the team will be athlete Meiling Tsoi who participates in bowling, ice hockey and running.
Tsoi recently moved here from Michigan in September 2012. She came here to “do something new, be in a new environment and meet new people,” and Special Olympics UVU has helped her achieve that goal. “It’s fun doing things you’ve never done before,” said Tsoi.
If you feel inspired to take Tsoi’s advice, Special Olympics UVU is always recruiting volunteers. “There’s never a surplus of people to help out,” said Goates.
Special Olympics UVU is also always recruiting new athletes. If you would like to volunteer, or know someone who is eligible to participate as an athlete, visit their Facebook page facebook.com/uvuspecialolympics.com, or contact Special Olympics UVU at [email protected] for more information. Neither volunteers nor athletes need to be UVU students to participate.
The Special Olympics’ motto is, “Please help me win, but if I cannot, let me be brave in the attempt.” That is exactly what UVU’s athletes and coaches are doing every day.
“Special Olympics has really changed my entire college experience. It all started when I had to step outside my comfort zone and volunteer. I had to take a really small risk in stepping outside my comfort zone, but the reward has been huge,” said Goates.