A Special Olympics GB volunteer from Buckinghamshire, Caroline, a multiple National Games volunteer and current member of our Volunteer Development Group, shares why she got involved in the Special Olympics movement, why others should volunteer and her aspirations for Special Olympics GB in the future.
Why did you get involved with Special Olympics GB?
Having really enjoyed the volunteer experience in my role as a Games Maker at London 2012, I wanted to find the next opportunity to volunteer. At this point I didn’t know about Special Olympics GB, but I came across an opportunity to volunteer at the 2013 Special Olympics National Games in Bath. It had Olympics in the name, so I thought it was interesting.
I really didn’t know what to expect at my first event. But from the very first moment that I met the athletes, interacting with them, watching them compete and seeing the joy and happiness on their faces was so infectious. The energy, joy, love and positivity made that moment the best place to be.
Why should others consider volunteering at Special Olympics GB events?
Volunteering for Special Olympics GB from that moment was something I really wanted to continue doing, and although opportunities were few and far between, every time I did find one, I did it and I would encourage anyone to do the same!
Drawing on my own experiences at other Special Olympics National Games that followed in Sheffield and Stirling, again they were amazing. The more time that you spend at these events with the athletes, you realise what they mean to them. They are accomplishing great things, and not only that but they are supporting each other through building genuine friendships – it’s the best of human nature.
You also learn from other volunteers, athletes and their families and you know you are part of a movement that is breaking down barriers for people with an intellectual disability. That is a special feeling and you just can’t leave without a smile on your face 😊
What are your aspirations?
Every person who has an intellectual disability knows about Special Olympics GB and has an opportunity to be part of these amazing clubs and events.
I would love to see more clubs so that I can get involved more regularly in the community and continue breaking down barriers.
I also hope that being part of the Volunteer Development Working Group that together we can continue improving the visibility and accessibility of volunteering opportunities so that anyone can get involved.