PASADENA, Calif. – As part of the NCAA Division III Special Olympics Partnership, Caltech students, staff and the community cheered on Special Olympics Southern California as they played an exhibition game at halftime of the Caltech women's basketball team's home finale win over Occidental College on Feb. 21.
"Thank you so much to you, your staff, players and all that made this day happen," Tina Corona, SOSC Pasadena Area Director, wrote to head coach Sandra Marbut following the event. "It was a most memorable day! The athletes were so happy and excited to see the women play. We are so glad they won too."
The women's basketball team also spent time helping instruct drills for the Special Olympics athletes prior to the game.
"It was great to be part of the national partnership with Special Olympics and give back to both the Pasadena and basketball communities as well," Marbut said. "It is a learning experience for the athletes visiting us, as well as our own players – they were able to enjoy basketball in a different way than they are used to. There was a lot of smiling and support for the Special Olympics athletes, and that support was returned to us tenfold at the game later that night. It was fun for the special Olympians to see the women they worked with that afternoon out on the court doing the same things they had talked about earlier."
The NCAA has partnered with Special Olympics to improve the lives of Special Olympics athletes through their involvement with Division III student-athletes and to foster a mutual learning experience between Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes.
SOSC offers year-round sports training and athletic competition in Olympic-type sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, currently including 12 sports, divided into two sports seasons: Spring/Summer includes aquatics, athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, golf and gymnastics; Fall/Winter sports are bowling, floor hockey, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.