Seattle University served as a host site for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games last week, with soccer and basketball athletes competing on campus at Chamionship Field, SU Park and the Redhawk Center.
Overall, the event saw more than 4,000 athletes compete in 14 sports. SU, along with the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University, welcomed the games to Seattle.
With soccer and basketball being hosted at SU, members of the Redhawk soccer and basketball teams volunteered their time. SU women’s soccer associate head coach Rich Schreiner was the Sport Commissioner, overseeing the soccer division of the games.
“The Seattle U mission statement matches up with Special Olympics,” said Schreiner. “All the reasons I love working at Seattle U are the same reasons I help with Special Olympics. The attitude of the people involved from the top down is a natural fit on both sides.”
Rachel Bowler, a junior on women’s soccer, served as a field manager at the event.
“I felt blessed to have been part of something that brought so many joy,” said Bowler. “It made me happy to see how excited the athletes were and to see the positive environment.”
Director of Athletics Shaney Fink, SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Natasha Martin, and Executive Vice President Tim Learywere the medal presenters at the soccer awards ceremony on July 5.
Head soccer coaches Pete Fewing and Julie Woodward, along with Seattle soccer dignitaries Roger Levesque and Kate Deines, presented ribbons at the awards ceremony.
“This event reiterates my feelings about athletics’ presence on campus here,” said Schreiner. “Athletics’ support at this event is a great metaphor for the connection to the university as a whole.”