Volleyball Clinic for Special Olympics Arizona athletes

Members of ASU's Volleyball team get and give smiles and high fives to Special Olympic athletes as they host a Volleyball Clinic for Special Olympics Arizona athletes, partners and coaches at the Aspire Volleyball Club Facility Jan 21, 2012. Darryl Webb/AFN

Darryl Webb

With less than three months to go until the Special Olympics Arizona Summer Games kick off, one resident hopes she can get the word out and recruit a few more athletes and volunteers.

Teresa Scobee hosted a clinic with the help of the Arizona State University Women's volleyball team on Saturday for Special Olympic athletes and potential athletes.

The Summer Games are coming in April and teams need to practice for at least eight weeks leading up to the kickoff. The clinic was a way to bring out athletes who might not normally play competitive sports and show them how much fun it can be.

"I dream big and this is just another accomplishment and step in that journey to increase opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to discover volleyball," said Scobee, who is the volunteer volleyball director for Special Olympics Arizona Summer Games. "My goal is to reach out to as many students as I can."

The clinic took place at Aspire Volleyball Club and the time was donated by the owners.

The volleyball program has grown under Scobee from just one volleyball team three years ago to seven last year. The issue has always been getting the word out about these events, Scobee said, because once an athlete steps onto the court, the game will speak for itself.

"I believe there are a lot of individuals eligible to play Special Olympic sports but might not know how to get started," she said. "The community is full of people who want to participate and I am trying to give them the opportunity to do so."

Another way athletes and volunteers can participate is through the Unified Sports program within Special Olympics Arizona.

Unified Sports brings athletes with and without intellectual disabilities together to play together.

The Summer Games are April 26-28 at Mesa Community College, 1833 W. Southern Ave. Teams must form and start practicing eight weeks prior to opening ceremonies.

Scobee believes the program will continue to grow. The Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Facility for people with disabilities opened in Phoenix and will attract more athletes to the games.

Other events at this year's Summer Games include tennis, kayaking and powerlifting.

Scobee said they are always looking for additional volunteers. To find out more, email her at growthegame@aol.com or visit www.soaz.org.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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