Oct 3, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT
The James Madison University volleyball team recently took time away from the court to volunteer at the Shenandoah Region Special Olympics Fall Sports Festival at nearby Wilson Memorial High School in Fishersville, Va., on Sunday, Sept. 29.
The Dukes, who helped out at the event for the sixth year, participated in various events, including helping out with refereeing, opening ceremonies as well as handing out awards and encouraging the group of 250 special athletes. James Madison in general has had a strong connection with Virginia’s Special Olympics organization and frequently works with the group to reach out and lend a helping hand with the school’s athletics staff and student-athletes.
“JMU Volleyball has been a big part of our tournament for more than five years,” Shenandoah Region Director for Virginia Special Olympics Daniel Leake said. “They have a great relationship with the Special Olympics athletes. Many of the JMU players have been with us for a number of years and know a lot of our players, so it’s nice seeing them have a conversation with the Special Olympics athletes. JMU is a great partner with us in a number of events, and we’re always happy when JMU helps at our events. They come in large numbers, are enthusiastic, and give our athletes a great deal of respect.”
Members of the volleyball team interacted with the Special Olympians at the tournament, watching and cheering on the athletes as they competed.
“We were able to watch the Special Olympics players truly enjoy and compete, to their best ability, in a sport that we play every day,” Junior Kelly Macguire said. “It’s opportunities like this, during the Special Olympics, that you really feel an appreciation for being a part of JMU and JMU Athletics and having the ability to give back to your community.”
JMU currently owns a 6-8 (1-0 CAA) record and continues conference play on Friday at home versus College of Charleston.
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