As the nearly 2,000 athletes paraded onto the field in Stevens Point, Wisc., I realized just how lucky I was to be given the opportunity to cheer on the athletes. As a first year intern with the program, I was extremely grateful that my very first week of interning I was able to witness the games. As ecstatic as I was to cheer on the athletes, I have to admit I was eager to take part in the Young Athletes program events the next day.
Young Athletes is a program designed to help children between the ages of two-to-seven, with and without intellectual disabilities, learn the proper skills and techniques that it takes to be a team player and a great athlete. A total of eight athletes participated in Young Athletes in Stevens Point. I quickly learned the importance of being aware of the fact that all children are the same. Intellectual disabilities or not, children like to play and have fun.
Throughout the day my co-workers and I showed the young athletes how to improve upon their physical skills and their social skills. The athletes raced on the track, showed off their softball skills and all were rewarded with ribbons and certificates for their hard work and effort. Later in the day, the athletes took part in a total of eight different stations that were set up to help them develop their skills. From tossing balls to obstacle courses, each athlete made sure to cheer on their fellow athletes as they performed. Although this was only my first week of being an intern, the progress and happiness I saw throughout the two days I was at Stevens Point showed how rewarding this job really is. I look forward to taking part in many more events to come.