Hamilton’s Athletics Department has been working on fostering a relationship with local Special Olympic athletes in conjunction with the NCAA Division III partnership with Special Olympics on a national level.
Each week Hamilton student athletes from various teams travel to Rome to work with the Special Olympics athletes. On March 7 members of the women’s soccer team played basketball with the Special Olympians.
Last semester Hamilton teams assisted with Special Olympics bocce ball athletes, traveling to the Toccolano Club in Rome once a week.
Margaret Alexander ’15, who was among the women’s soccer team members who played basketball with the Special Olympics athletes, noted, “I think it’s important to show people that being a student-athlete at Hamilton is not simply all about what you do on the field or court. It’s important that we reach out to the community to share that spirit and promote valuable life skills such as teamwork, communication, and leadership.
“Getting off campus and doing something different such as this is really a breath of fresh air,” she added. “We get to do something new at the same time knowing that we are making a real difference in the lives of these athletes. They look forward to going to practice every week: learning new skills, playing games and interacting with the volunteers.”
Rachel Hirsch ’15 added, “As a Hamilton athlete I think it’s extremely important to give back. Our community is so dedicated to supporting us at games and competitions, she said, “the least we can do is help out anyone who needs a hand. It was very rewarding to see them thrive after so much hard work and practice,” Hirsch remarked.
Hamilton will host the Special Olympics group to play basketball in the field house on April 4.