Photo | Hannah Cates
The ATU SO College is an organization on campus that brings Tech students and athletes together in intramural sports and other volunteer opportunities. This organization gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to feel like neurotypical people playing sports and having fun on the field.
“These athletes are extremely wonderful people. Our athletes are some of the best guys and girls out there, they are outgoing and fun, and once you gain their trust, that friendship will always be there,” Ryan Tyrrell, the president of the organization, said.
Those who would like to be involved in the Special Olympics are not required to play any sports. There are volunteer opportunities, and showing support goes a long way.
“With this organization, you not only build strong connections with the athletes but also with the Special Olympics Arkansas Organization. It’s a great building block for your future,” Kaycie Beard, the treasurer, said.
They participate in the following sports activities: flag football, basketball, and softball. “In a regular year (without COVID), we would have as many sports as intramural has. We get to use the facilities on campus just like intramurals. For our Special Olympics athletes, it’s extremely competitive, and they give it their all every time,” Sidnee Cowen, the vice president, said.
Tech students with an interest in joining can visit https://atu.presence.io/ organization/atu-so-college.