READING, Pa. – On Sunday, April 10, members of Gallaudet University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) traveled to the campus of Pennsylvania State University at Berks to take part in their annual spring meeting with other North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) South region schools. While there, the representatives had a unique opportunity to volunteer at a horseback riding competition for the Special Olympics.
Head women’s soccer coach and SAAC advisor Sarah Gumina, sophomore track and field distance runner Richard Camacho (Medford, Ore.) and junior football running back Matthew Moore (Zebulon, N.C.) represented Gallaudet with each volunteering several hours of their time. The Bison pair had several duties during their volunteer time as Camacho worked at the concessions stand while Moore helped out with both the horse barn and handing out medals. Gumina was paired up with a participant in the competition who went on to win second place.
“It was a great experience for myself and our student-athletes that went,” said Gumina. “It was very interesting to see how it all worked. It was great to see the participants on the horses and seeing their faces light up. They did a great job.”
The NCAA recently announced a partnership between the Division III SAAC and the Special Olympics. According to their website, the partnership is “designed to improve the lives of Special Olympics athletes through their involvement with Division III student-athletes and foster a mutual learning experience between Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes. It aligns with the Division III attribute of citizenship in the division’s strategic-positioning platform.”
Gumina is definitely looking forward to her next interaction with the Special Olympics through SAAC.
“Time went by really quick. I really enjoy this new partnership between NCAA Division III and Special Olympics,” said Gumina.