"Being a student-athlete at Hope College is more than just playing the game; it is a privilege, and in order to use its full potential, it is our responsibility to give back to the community," says 2011-12 basketball captain Allie Cerone of Wheaton, Ill.
Being a student-athlete at Hope College is more than just playing the game; it is a privilege, and in order to use its full potential, it is our responsibility to give back to the community.
Special Olympics has been a part of the Flying Dutch women's basketball program for 14 years, long before it became a nationwide focus in NCAA Division III. The 2011-12 Flying Dutch sponsored a skills workshop for over 100 Special Olympians and later in the season hosted a tournament for Special Olympians.
"It's been a great opportunity to serve while providing teachable moments about our responsibility to the community," said coach Brian Morehouse. "After our workshop experience I pulled our team together for an impromptu conversation on the responsibility to serve not just in college, but beyond. I admitted to not always understanding this in my post-college career until about age 26. It was at this age I discovered the absolute joy in looking beyond my own busyness to find ways to serve others.
"Our recent Special Olympics event was time well spent because it was exhilarating and helped me better appreciate being part of a community that reaches far beyond a single basketball team," Cerone said.
"Being a student-athlete at Hope teaches students how to accept responsibility, whether it is in the classroom or on the court," added junior teammate Liz Ellis. "Having this responsibility should be seen as a privilege and with it comes the task of doing things outside of ourselves and helping to serve others."