NEWBERRY — The Newberry College men’s and women’s tennis teams took time out of their day to help with the Special Olympics group of Columbia on Nov. 5.
The event marked the fourth consecutive partnership between the Special Olympics in the Midlands and Newberry College. In attendance were 12 Special Olympic athletes, 10 from the Columbia area and two from the Aiken area.
A long-term friendship between Head Coach Mark Gardiner and Special Olympics coach, David Andes, initiated the partnership between the two groups.
“We mutually came up with the idea as a way to expose the community to the wonderful student athletes here at Newberry,” Gardiner said.
The tennis team embraced the challenge, and had a day full of laughter and encouragement. The day started with drill and teaching components, followed by a fun dance piece. Partnered with a member of the Special Olympics team, the Wolves competed in a doubles exhibition.
“This was our fourth event and I am always impressed with the Newberry athletes. It’s easy to see that the men’s and women’s team have an authentic camaraderie. The different cultural backgrounds make it so much richer. Everyone is speaking the same language of tennis and smiles. I look forward to continuing this partnership in the future,” Andes said.