Norwich University to participate in innovative Special Olympics curriculum program

Prof. Geoff DavisonNorwich University has been selected as one of ten schools of higher education in the country to participate in a program which will incorporate Special Olympics courses into their curricula.

Through the Special Olympics North America University Curriculum, ten universities will assist with training coaches and sport managers, and gain field experience (service learning) opportunities for their students. A joint partnership between the schools and the Special Olympic Program will maximize human and material resources stimulating growth, interest and understanding of Special Olympics and coaching or sport management in general.

It was announced Thursday, April 1, at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD) National Convention in New Orleans that Norwich has been invited to take part in this ground-breaking project during the next year. Norwich students who helped organize Special Olympics eventNorwich was chosen due to the efforts of Professor Geoffrey Davison, who has, for the past 12 months, been providing service learning experiences for students in his physical education classes Coaching: Leadership in Sports, and Organization and Administration of Sport.

"We have run the Norwich Special Olympics Invitational Basketball Tournament twice with great success," Davison said. "We have also assumed administrative responsibility for the Special Olympics State Soccer Tournament held on campus each fall. The students do everything in these ventures - from facility preparation, food provision, volunteer recruitment, games management, publicity and officiating."

Other schools participating in the Special Olympics Curriculum program are:

  • University of Alaska-Anchorage
  • Coppin State College, Maryland
  • Dillard University, Louisiana
  • Jacksonville State University, Alabama
  • Rhode Island College
  • Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania
  • University of Vermont
  • Western Michigan University
  • West Virginia University

Special Olympics participants"Working with the Special Olympics offers a great opportunity for our students to implement coaching and teaching theory in practice, but the real satisfaction is derived from working with such a tremendous group of athletes as the Special Olympians and to work in partnership with the Special Olympics staff," Davison said. "This arrangement will involve formally embedding our past efforts into my courses and continuing to provide not only additional competitive opportunities for the athletes, but also a steady supply of experienced and certified Special Olympics coaches and games management personnel."

by Mark Albury
pubrel@norwich.edu
April 2004


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