HCA volunteers at Special Olympics

May 07, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo

Students and staff of Haywood Christian Academy (HCA) volunteered at the Haywood County Special Olympics held at the Waynesville Recreation Center.  Each year high school students are selected by HCA administration to serve the organizers of Special Olympics by assisting athletes and judges in every competition.

“Most simply put, without HCA’s support, we fail. It means the world to us that they are there,” said Special Olympics organizer, John Gatens.

Students are divided into small groups and assigned to the various events to support both the athletes and the judges. They may be assigned to holding the finish tape at the end of a race, keeping stopwatch times, or recording distances in long-jumps, shotputs, or softball throws.

Regardless of their given task, the most important role for a volunteer was to be an encourager.

“We are all cheerleaders today,” said sophomore Sarah Womack.

Womack and her classmates, Leah Lynch and Caroline Morris, were still working at the end of the day after most volunteers were finished.

“Those girls stepped up to help at the medal ceremony and loved it,” said Rachael Heisler, HCA’s physical education instructor. “We always get a blessing doing this.”