CANYON, Texas – The West Texas A&M women’s soccer team hosted its 3rd annual WT Soccer Camp for Special Olympics this past Saturday. The event was held at The Pitch in Canyon, Texas, where the Lady Buffs compete.
The event was open to all Special Olympics athletes in the Texas Panhandle, Area 16 of Special Olympics Texas, to come and receive personalized instruction from the Lady Buff women’s soccer program. Over 35 athletes made it to the event Saturday, surpassing last year’s total. The majority of them were from the Hereford community.
During the morning session, athletes were paired with Lady Buff athletes to learn fundamentals and specific soccer skills one-on-one. Following lunch, the two groups played several games where teams consisted of half camp athletes and half Lady Buffs.
“I think it is awesome that the Lady Buffs and Special Olympics Texas had the opportunity to work together for a third-straight year,” said Megan Spivey, Panhandle Area Director for Special Olympics Texas and former Lady Buff volleyball standout (2003-’06). “Inclusion is so important for the athletes. It also gives the Lady Buffs the opportunity to learn about acceptance and awareness of Special Olympics athletes in their community.”
Most importantly, the annual camp allowed the Lady Buffs to participate in Unified Sports, a Special Olympics effort which brings together athletes with and without disabilities to train and compete together.
“Unified Sports dramatically increases inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities into the community by breaking down barriers that have historically kept these people apart,” added Spivey.
With the start of a new season quickly approaching, the camp provided another great opportunity for a new team to come together. The Lady Buffs only lose three starters from last year’s lineup but are also welcoming in 14 new athletes to the roster in 2014. WT was tabbed third in the Lone Star Conference Preseason Poll, announced in late July, and looks to top its LSC Tournament Runner-Up finish from a year ago.
The Lady Buffs begin the 2014 season on Thursday, Sept. 4th as they travel to Denver, Colo. for a match against No. 16 Metro State. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. (CT).
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