On Saturday, April 10, Marymount University held the 15th annual Special Olympics Regional Basketball Tournament.
It began with the parade of athletes to the music of Chariots of Fire. César Rojas, a member of the Arlington White Panthers team, led the way with the Special Olympics banner, and Megan Hughes, also with the White Panthers, led the recitation of the athletes' oath: "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
This year, the 10 competing teams are members of Special Olympics Virginia, Northern Virginia, Area 26. The athletes certainly fulfilled their oath, and their team spirit and fair play were shining examples of good sportsmanship. When the games ended, the Arlington Blue Panthers took first place in the senior division (Reston Lady Hawks, second; Arlington White Panthers, third; and Alexandria Wizards, fourth), the Paul VI Panthers won the junior division (Timberwolves, second; Bellefonte Wizards, third; and Fairfax Bullets, fourth), and the Arlington Red Panthers won in the half-court division over the Fairfax Fantastics. All the athletes came away knowing they had given their best.
Organized by Marymount's Campus Ministry Association, the tournament is a much anticipated, campus-wide volunteer activity. More than 90 Marymount students cheered on their adopted teams, participated in half time events and games, and enjoyed a day of camaraderie with the athletes.
Photo 1 - César Rojas leads the parade of athletes with Marymount graduate student Brett Jackson, who is pursuing his doctorate in Physical Therapy.
Photo 2 - Father David Sharland, YA, director of Marymount's Campus Ministry Association, shakes hands with standard bearer César Rojas.
Photo 3 - Dominique Russo of the Arlington White Panthers takes the ball down the court in the game against the Paul VI Panthers. After a valiant effort, the Paul VI team won 20-12.
Photo 4 - Marymount students cheer on the Panthers.
Photo 5 - Junior Division champions, the Paul VI Panthers, with Marymount University President James E. Bundschuh. Photo courtesy of Paul VI High School