The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


UCM hosts Special Olympics

UCM hosts Special Olympics
Photo by Ellie Whitesell


  The University of Central Missouri hosted multiple Special Olympics events throughout the year with more continuing during the summer.

  UCM worked with the Johnson County Board of Services along with other organizations to host Special Olympics throughout the school year. The university played host to Special Olympics bowling and basketball during the school year and will play host to softball in the summer. The events, held around campus, provided recreational activities to more than 60 families from around the area. The activities also provided an opportunity for local students to be volunteers.

  One of the many ways UCM provided for these activities was through volunteer work. These workers undertook a variety of tasks from directing group events, to recovering balls. For many of these activities, the presence of these volunteers was invaluable. 

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  “They’ve been a lot of help,” Jackson Nimmo, grad student and volunteer said, “We’ve had a few in particular that have been super engaged with all the athletes and they’ve helped out a bunch.” “I can’t thank them enough. They’ve helped make this event go,” Nimmo said.

  The university did not only provide volunteers for these activities, however. UCM also provided locations for the bowling and basketball events free of charge and provided the Johnson County Board of Services Bright Sox Softball with the use of UCM’s practice softball fields at South Recreational Complex during the summer. According to Melissa Frey, Volunteer and Executive Director at the Johnson County Board of Services, this will double the amount of games they can do. 

  “We were looking at where we were going to host the games this year, and that’s where UCM came in and asked if we would be interested in utilizing the softball practice fields,” Frey said, “[We get] two fields, we typically only have had one field in the past. We’re gonna have four teams [this year], whereas last year we had three teams, but one of the teams would have to wait while the other two teams were playing. So this way we can have a continuous game happening the whole night.”

  According to Frey, UCM students who wanted to volunteer for these events could do so through the Johnson County Board of Services social media where they can fill out a simple Microsoft Form. 

  The role of UCM in hosting the Special Olympics is not new, either. According to Beth Rutt, Director of Student Activities, this has been a long tradition at the university with it going back as far back as the 1970s. According to Rutt, it was even a requirement in some programs.   

  “I was a student here in the late 70s. And at that time, it was part of the requirements even for our recreation majors to participate as a volunteer for a Special Olympics program,” said Rutt. 

  The university also played a role in providing softball gloves for the upcoming softball events hosted at the East Recreational Complex.


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About the Contributors
Aaron Bax
Aaron Bax, Sports Editor
Aaron Bax is the Sports Editor at the Muleskinner. A Warrensburg Native, Aaron started working for the muleskinner as a senior in high school, covering local sports. After graduation Aaron hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism.
Ellie Whitesell, Multimedia Manager
Ellie Whitesell is a senior with a Photography major as well as the Multimedia Manager. She has been involved in journalism since high school. Now getting into the newsroom rules she is thinking about making it her life long career. She has loved taking photos since I child, it has always a hobby of mine until she realized that she could make a career of ourselves. 

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