There were smiles all around the Lubbock Christian University campus Monday, as LCU conducted their S.O.ccer Cup celebration with Special Olympics.
Over 150 Special Olympics members and over 50 volunteers took part in the S.O.ccer Cup event on the LCU campus. Delegates were from Area 17 and South Plains of Special Olympics Texas. They represented Lubbock ISD Vocational Training Center, Lubbock ISD Whiteside Elementary, Shallowater ISD, Brownfield ISD, Lubbock-Cooper ISD, Daybreak Community Rock Stars, Company of Rockhouse and Lubbock State Supported Living Center.
The early events of the day centered around the Lubbock Christian University men’s soccer contest against Oklahoma Christian University in the two team’s final Heartland Conference contest of the season. The Special Olympic groups arrived prior to the Chaparrals and Eagles noon start time and watched the two teams warm up. The Special Olympic members and volunteers then took part in the opening ceremonies of the soccer contest. They created a spirit line down the middle of the field and welcomed starting members from both teams onto the pitch during player introductions. It was a joy witnessing not only the home team providing high-fives to the Special Olympic members, but seeing the opposing team also receiving applause and interacting with the Olympians while being introduced. Following the introductions, all the participants, volunteers, coaches and teams (both LCU and OC) took a group photo on the field.
Special Olympics participants and volunteers were then treated to a lunch and watched the first half of the LCU and OC soccer contest. After lunch, the Olympians played games of their own, splitting up in teams for games set up at PlainsCapital Park softball field, the soccer practice fields and the intramural fields. They participated in soccer games, kickball, relay races, soccer drills contest and a soccer shooting oriented activity. Overseeing each station of games was LCU student-athletes representing all the 11 varsity programs, members of LCU’s student social service clubs, and students representing LCU’s special education graduate programs.
The events culminated with a combination of celebrations. The LCU men’s soccer team defeated OC 3-0 to clinch first place in the Heartland Conference. As soon as the Chaps shook hands with members of the Eagles, they sprinted to the practice field to recognize the Special Olympians as they were receiving their awards and medals. The Olympians then were able to cheer and celebrate with the Chaps as they then had their celebration for a first place finish.