Dublin High School Hosts 3rd Annual Special Olympics Soccer Competition
A full and fall sun sparkled over Gaels Stadium on Tuesday morning at Dublin High School. It was only fitting as the third annual Special Olympics of Northern California (SONC) soccer event took place at Dublin High School. Tuesday’s event was dedicated to students from pre-Kindergarten to the fifth grade throughout the Tri-Valley. The athletes participating represented elementary schools from Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore. As in years past, Dublin Unified School District Adapted Physical Education teacher Eric Hamilton invited OneDublin.org to cover this spectacle. We were pleased to do so.
While the Special Olympics movement has been firmly entrenched in our national consciousness, the Tri-Valley did not necessarily have a school based program until fairly recently. Fortunately, the program has expanded to soccer, basketball and track & field activities for all local athletes. On Tuesday, the emphasis was on younger students. In another week, on October 14th, a subsequent event will be sponsored at Dublin High for those in both the middle and high school levels. The celebration will start with an Opening Ceremony at 9:30 AM and the games will begin at 10:00 AM.
As for today, the festivities included a stadium-wide Pledge of Allegiance and the recitation of the Special Olympics Oath. “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” The Dublin High Band and Irish Guard added a musical touch to the overall celebration.
Four pitches or sports grounds were established on the Gaels Stadium field for multiple competitions. Thereupon, school site staff and parent volunteers assisted to manage the competitions. Additional help was present in the form of staff from Camp Parks and Leadership students from Wells Middle School. In all, it made for a very festive and celebratory day.
During the event, OneDublin.org was able to reach out to a key Dublin Unified School District staff member and collect her thoughts. Cecelia Timek is a Special Day Class instructor based at Murray Elementary School. She actively works with students in grades 2-4 – mild to moderate special education. Ms. Timek has been employed through DUSD for three years and she previously served in a similar capacity in South San Francisco.
OneDublin.org: In general, how have you prepared your students for this event?
Cecelia Timek: “Our adapted PE teacher does an amazing job practicing small skills. We also have a buddy class of general population 4th grades students that comes out and runs skill events and we scrimmage a couple of team activities per week.
OneDublin.org: We witnessed a number of yellow colored signs held by students that were directed towards the athletes – please explain what this was all about.
Timek: “They are our general education buddies that are here to support some of our special educations students. We are an inclusion-based school so this is typical for them to support and to work with all of our students.”
OneDublin.org: What does this mean for you, Cecelia? Help us to capture what this all represents.
Timek: “It’s nice to see what the kids feeling successful in a different way. But, also being able to experience what it’s like to be successful like a “typical” kid. A lot of kids don’t have the opportunity to be a part of sports teams outside of school. It can be harder to be part of a cooperative group. It’s really great to see the kids to be a part of that together and to be independent in that way.”
OneDublin.org: Might you have a budding athletic superstar in your group and anything else that you’d like to add?
Timek: “I have a couple of superstars, yes. I hope that everyone continues to support it and I would love to see more schools here.”
And so, another successful event was conducted and many athletes experienced a great day. The Special Olympics of Northern California will conduct another Soccer event at Dublin High School on Tuesday, October 14th @ 10:00 AM. Check-in will occur at 9:00 AM, so please come early. OneDublin.org would like to thank the SONC organization and DUSD Adapted PE instructor, Eric Hamilton for granting us access to this event. It was a victorious day.