PEPI class takes on the Special Olympics

Students in PEPI coach fellow Wakefield athletes to victory at the annual Special Olympics.

Will Clark, Sports Editor

In April, Wakefield was well represented at the annual Special Olympics held at Ravenscroft School. The PEPI (Physical Education Pupil Instructor) class had the privilege to accompany Wakefield’s athletes for this event. It was a unique system where the athlete would select who he or she wanted to be their buddy during the festivities.

Senior Greg Wolcott had a fantastic time accompanying his athlete.

“I helped one of the athletes go to his events and I cheered him on,” said Wolcott. “Other than that I just enjoyed the event and got to cheer on Wakefield in a huge competition.

There was a unique bond between each athlete and each buddy because of the selection process.

“We sort of had a draft day where we went in and they picked who they wanted,” said Wolcott. “This allowed us to get to know them a little bit before the actual event so that way when we got to the event we could already be familiar with each other.”

One of Senior Amanda Dacunto’s favorite moments came right at the beginning of the event.

“My favorite part was when we walked out for the opening ceremony,” said Dacunto. “We got to hold up the banner and walk with the athletes and they were so excited.”

Wolcott enjoyed the celebration after the individual events more than the events themselves.

“They had a podium and every time a kid would finish and come in first, second, or third they would go up and stand on it and get a ribbon,” said Wolcott. “It was awesome to watch because all the athletes got so excited to get a ribbon no matter what place they came in and that joy really made the event worthwhile.”

Senior Justin Adams agreed with Wolcott that watching the athletes finish events was the best part.

“My favorite part was getting to watch the athletes complete their events and witness the happiness they had when they got a ribbon,” said Adams. “Watching them be happy made me happy.”

Dacunto got to see her athlete, Abdullah on the podium for his favorite event.

“His favorite event was the 100 meter sprint which he came in first place,” said Dacunto. “He told me before hand that running was his favorite so he was very excited to come in first.”

Wolcott also felt like the event was a humbling experience.

“It means a lot because these kids don’t take anything for granted,” said Wolcott. “They are just happy to be able to participate in something big. To be there and be a part of something big for them gave me a new perspective and made the day that much more enjoyable.”

At the end of the day, Wakefield represented themselves in the best way possible at the Special Olympics.

“All of the PEPI kids did a really awesome job with their partners,” said Dacunto. “The athletes did their absolute best while having the best time ever with huge smiles on their faces. I am so glad I was a part of it.”