Water Polo Plays Leading Roll In Special Olympics Competition
Joe Rodgers and his teammates hosted Special Olympians at Scott Pool
May 6, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - In the final event before Scott Natatorium was closed for renovations, the Navy water polo team was proud to host a variety of aquatic events as part of the recent Special Olympics competition that was held at the United States Naval Academy.
The water polo team showed up in full force early in the morning to set up the pool and to assist the Midshipmen Action Group and Special Olympics staff and athletes. Throughout the day, the water polo team members took shifts assisting athletes with their events, keeping eyes on the pool at all times and encouraging and engaging the swimmers.
“It was really great to see how much fun everyone had, both during and after their events,” said Navy water polo goalkeeper Joseph Rodgers. “The athletes work so hard to achieve something that we, especially as water polo players, take for granted and that really made me thankful for the gifts I've been given. The most rewarding part was seeing the pride and happiness on the faces of the participants' parents and grandparents, because they must work just as hard.”
The defensive captain of the sprint football team and the leader of the captains’ council, Brendan West worked with the Midshipman Action Group and gathered a support team for the Special Olympics that was composed of 200-300 varsity and club athletes to help make the two days of Special Olympics on the yard outstanding.
“I am extremely proud of the team captains for recruiting support from their teammates for this event,” said West. “I've never seen so many smiling faces, especially on the competitors. They couldn't stop talking about the new Navy buddy that they made.”
“Those that volunteered took advantage of an incredible opportunity to make a big difference in many of those athletes' lives. I strongly encourage the rest of the Brigade of Midshipmen and the Annapolis community to come out and experience this event next year. We all have busy lives, but working with these competitors is a rewarding and humbling experience that I promise will not be forgotten. The Naval Academy athletic family will continue their involvement in this event for many years to come.”