Student Column: Serving as Olympic Buddy ‘was a truly rewarding experience’

Buddies watching their athlete’s long jump.
Buddies watching their athlete’s long jump. Submitted photo - Ethan Strause

Meeting new people is great for everyone! Sometimes it’s just a little harder for some to make new friends.

On May 1, Schuylkill Valley High School hosted the Schuylkill Valley Special Track and Field Invitational. The organizers of this event have invented the buddy system. Students of each district volunteers to spend the day with one of the athletes who may have a hard time socially interacting with peers. This system opens doorways to new friendships for these individuals. Without this system some of these kids would’ve never talked to one another which proves the importance of this system for the event.

The true characteristics of the students who volunteered shine through undoubtedly. The generosity from both the schools as well as the students show a significant caring for these amazing kids and teens.

Some of the words used to describe this system have been “door-opening, revealing, friendship forging, a blast,” and, finally, “an opportunity.” All these words could not have been better selected to describe this system. The event itself was in order to get special education students competing in a setting that they may not have been able to perform in before this event.

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Emma Bollinger said, “It was great to get to know my buddy better. Was a truly rewarding experience.”