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Taylor student helps athlete at Take it to the Hoop

Taylor to Host 500 Special Olympics Athletes at Take-It-To-The-Hoop 

  • By: Anna Molendorp
  • Published:
Special Olympics athlete holding basketball

On February 10, Special Olympics athletes from all over Indiana will compete in Take-It-To-The Hoop in the Kesler Student Activities Center. Supported by many Taylor student volunteers, 56 teams will compete in 3 on 3 and 5 on 5 games, and 29 other personal skills will be available for individual athletes. The event will run from 8 am to 7 pm, and the public is welcome to attend for free. 

A student-led event, junior Communications major Briona Graham and sophomore Human Physiology & Preventive Medicine major Luke Petroelje are this year’s co-directors. With over 500 expected participants, organizing this event is no small feat. 

The Fullness of God’s Kingdom

Joyful service is a large component of this event since almost all volunteers - from referees to welcome staff to other helpers - are from Taylor’s community. Graham and Petroelje are still recruiting volunteers for this year’s event. 

“Ultimately, this is about joyfully serving and connecting with many local people through inclusive competition,” said Petroelje. “We talk about Taylor’s community a lot, but here we can talk about the outreach community that includes Special Olympics teams from Grant County and across Indiana.”

Both students have volunteered in the past, and they found their experiences at Take-It-To-The-Hoop invaluable. 

“Revelation 7:9 often comes to mind when discussing diversity, a concept that illustrates various dimensions such as race, language, and gender,” said Graham. “Integrating the Word of God into our daily lives, such as through events like the Special Olympics, provides a meaningful way to celebrate our unity amidst diversity.”

“When you are with people who are different from you, regardless of where you are, you get a glimpse of the Kingdom of God. There's a lot of joy that comes with experiencing that here on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

As co-directors, Graham and Petroelje have been able to see Taylor’s community rally around this event, welcome the athletes, and take part in an opportunity that is just as valuable for the volunteers as it is for the athletes. 

“There are opportunities for growth and connections through this, but, ultimately, the idea of giving and making the most of our time and making the event fun and enjoyable is going to create the best memories and the most qualified results.”

Volunteers Welcome!

Grant County Special Olympics started in 1997, and the number of athletes competing in their events continues to grow. Take-It-To-The-Hoop represents only one of the sports competitions Grant County Special Olympics offers, but this year’s number of participants far surpasses the previous year’s event.

This means that the event will require as many volunteers as possible. Interested in volunteering? Sign up here

Learn more about Taylor’s mission or see that mission being carried out on campus.