Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks softball team recently assisted in hosting the regional Special Olympics softball tournament.
The tournament, which took place on Saturday, October 13, has become an annual occurrence for the Lady Eagles. The team has helped host it every year since Head Coach Laurie Adkins arrived on campus four years ago and was approached about bringing the event back to Ozarks.
Both Coach Adkins and her players are eager to work with the Special Olympians every year, even if it means giving up part of the typically busy weekend of a student-athlete.
“I end up seeing our kids getting more than they give,” said Adkins. “They start working with these Special Olympians, and they learn such wonderful lessons from them.”
The Lady Eagles played a couple of roles in this year’s tournament. While some served as partners to the Olympians, others were brought into the tournament’s games to play different positions for those teams that did not have enough athletes.
“It was a camaraderie thing,” explained Adkins. “Our girls were able to hang out and get to know the Olympians, and they got to connect and get to know our girls. It’s just really cool.”
The event has become a tradition that the team sees continuing for many years. With this year’s tournament behind them, the Lady Eagles are already looking forward to stepping up to the plate again next year to help out with such a great cause.
By Emily Black, Student Assistant for Sports Information