First NU Special Olympics Invitational Basketball Tournament - a real team effort

Olympics Games CommitteeOn Saturday, March 29, a group of students enrolled in PE432, Norwich's "Organization & Administration of Sport" class, hosted the first ever NU Invitational Basketball Tournament for Special Olympics Vermont. olympic athletes in actionThe students, who adopted the title "Games Committee," took responsibility for all aspects of the event management, from facilities and officials to publicity and sponsorship.

"This was a wonderful practical exercise to get the students working with managerial / administrative tasks and issues, and will be repeated each year from now on," said Geoff Davison, professor of Physical Education and chief coordinator of the event.

olympic athletes in actionTen teams from community programs and high schools around the state competed in 3 divisions (1 Traditional and 2 Unified) in the daylong event. In addition an Individual Skills Competition was run concurrently.

olympic athletes in actionThe tournament, which took place in Plumley Armory, was made possible by a legion of volunteers from throughout the Norwich community who performed various tasks to ensure the smooth running of the event.

"As there were over 100 athletes participating, the most important volunteer duty was to chaperone and escort the athletes and teams," said Davison. Volunteer support, enthusiasm and encouragement was provided by NU Women's Basketball Team; NU Football Team; NU Corps of Cadets; volunteersNorthfield Middle and High School SHINE Students; NU Athletic Dept.; NU Office of Volunteer Programs; NU Facilities Operations; NU Security.

olympic athlete in actionIn addition, the following businesses provided food, services and/or sponsorship: Vermont Pure; Sodexho-Marriott Catering; Subway; Common Cafe; Depot Pizzeria.

Also contributing to the success of the tournament were several members of the Vermont Basketball Officials Association, who donated their time to officiate this event.

"They did a tremendous job," said Davison.

The games were opened by Coach Steve Lanpher of the NU Women's Basketball Program; awards were presented by Officer Seitz of the Northfield Police Department; and the event was closed by Gordon MacGregor (a student), the Games Director.

Geoff Davison with members of PE432"The event highlighted the elements of leadership, community service and service learning, which a Norwich education is designed to foster in our students," said Davison., April 2003

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