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The RB Special Olympics team at Pack the Place.

The RB Special Olympics team at Pack the Place.

The RB Special Olympics team at Pack the Place.

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Riverside Brookfield High School shows school spirit through many different clubs, activities, and sports. One way many Bulldogs choose to show their school spirit and their love for our school is through Best Buddies and Special Olympics.

For me, Best Buddies and Special Olympics were obvious for me to join and be involved in. People with disabilities have always played a very influential part of my life as two of my closest friends have special needs.

Last year as a freshman, I was very happy to see all of the students excited to be involved in Best Buddies, the club at RB that pairs people with and without special needs together to create a long-lasting friendship. I knew how much it meant to the buddies with disabilities. I have met tons of great people through a club that means everything to many of my close friends and peers.

Special Olympics got two new coaches this year, which I think has impacted the attendance at the games. Pack the Place is usually held in the middle of December, and it was a big hit last year. The stands were full of people with signs and cheering and you could see the effect it had on the players, they were all very energetic and happy to be on the court.

Since attendance has been lacking at many of the Special Olympics games this year, I think it is very important that we try to do better in the coming months and next year. My mom and I made it a point at the beginning of the year to go to every home game (we only missed one or two) and are both very excited to see Special Olympics compete in state for the first time in the middle of March.

One thing RB can do to help increase attendance at games is to advertise them more on announcements and flyers around the school as well as having Pack the Place held more towards the beginning of the year. I think this will help greatly because for my mom and me,  seeing all of the players so happy and joyful to see their own people rooting for them made us want to go to every game we could, as well as made us realize that the players on the Special Olympics team put as much work into their sport as any other team at RB, if not more, because there are so many varying disabilities and the team never fails to include all the players and adapt to all of their teammates strengths or weaknesses. Once you see this, you won’t want to miss another game.

School spirit means something different to everyone. I am not involved in many clubs or activities, and school spirit is not always shown throughout RB on any given day, or even on the designated spirit Fridays throughout the year, but I have always been very proud of be part of something that so many students show their love for our school and support for all the different people in it.

Although there are flaws in every club, sport, and activity, and a recent decline of attendance in RB’s Sixth Man,I find it very encouraging to see that we Bulldogs can always come together to benefit a group of students that don’t always get the same recognition or opportunity as many others at RB.

Best Buddies and Special Olympics are two of the only places at RB where  such a diverse group of people can come together and share the same experience, and that is why I think these are very important events to show your support for our school, I think we do a very good job.

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