The Special Olympics is a non profit event organized to transform lives through the joy of sports. Many people don’t understand the impact that sports events have on the athletes, participating in such events helps adults with intellectual disabilities engage in their community in a positive way.
Marty Callahan runs the bowling league for the Luzerne County Special Olympics every Saturday at Chacko's Bowling in Wilkes-Barre PA.
“This invitational allows them to qualify for the regional in Allentown, which is a qualifier for the state tournament at Penn State,” explained Marty.
There has been a recent lack in volunteers for the Special Olympics since the organization changed it’s requirements regarding background checks, this hits the athletes especially hard hard, since they can lose the chance to participate in upcoming programs. The volunteers bring joy to those who need it, and they play a huge role in making these events happen.
“It’s the enthusiasm of seeing them throw the ball down and hit, even if its one pin, the happiness is the best part,” said Brian Smith.
Brian Smith has coached for the past six years, he then began running his own bowling league. He is a member of the coaching staff every Saturday, 14 lanes comprised of 15-65 athletes giving it their all to win big at upcoming competitions.
Volunteering at these events encourages others within the community to also get involved with the Special Olympics. Regardless of which sport the athletes participate in, it will give the athletes the chance to be involved with something they may have never imagined was possible for them.