Volunteer coaches pose with the purple team at Sportsfest on April 7.
Arcadia students and alumni were the feature of an April 13 Philadelphia Inquirer story about the collaboration between Arcadia University Special Athletes Association (ASAA) and Rotary Special Athletes, which dates back over 30 years.
“I’ve gained exposure to a community that I never interacted with before,” said ASAA President Nick McMullen ’20. “I’m here to be their friend. So I like coming here and everyone being excited to see me and me being excited to see them."
ASAA is a student organization that was started in the late 1980s by Dr. Raymond Rose, former professor of Biology. Dr. Rose organized students to volunteer with Rotary Special Athletes’ volleyball practice on Thursday nights, often as a form of extra credit. Since then, students and alumni have continued to spend Thursdays working with athletes who have special needs.
Similar to the Special Olympics’ “unified sports program,” volunteers participate in activities with special athletes, with all involved in sporting events, such as the annual Sportsfest, breakfasts, and parties throughout the school year.
On April 7, ASAA and Rotary Special Athletes hosted Sportsfest in the Kuch Center, where the special athletes participated in skill clinics for swimming, soccer, basketball, volleyball, martial arts, relay races, and dancing. This full-day event culminates the practice season each year. This event was also featured by 6ABC, PHL17 and NBC10.