Newsome High School and Bloomingdale Senior High School co-hosted the seventh annual IncrediBULL Games on February 24. The IncrediBULL Games are a Special Olympics field day event for middle school and high school students in Eastern Hillsborough County.
‘Incredible’ hardly begins to describe the moments of joy and connection at the IncrediBULL Games.
“Our athletes and their buddies have said this is their favorite day of the year. The IncrediBULL Games promotes inclusion and has built many lasting friendships over the years,” said IncrediBULL Games event coordinator Donna Hart.
From the moment athletes arrive at the games, excitement grows. Cheerleaders and drumlines from both high schools welcome the athletes as they got off their buses. The athletes spend the day competing in track and soccer and enjoying games and activities at the ‘Olympic Village.’ Student volunteers, called buddies, are paired to spend time with athletes while they compete and have fun.
This year’s event at Newsome was the biggest yet with 475 athletes participating from 16 schools and 850 student volunteers. Hart said the partnership between Bloomingdale and Newsome broadened the community supporters and gave even more students the opportunity to serve. Bloomingdale Principal Marcos Rodriguez said the partnership allowed the event to double the number of student volunteers and club participation.
Newsome Principal Katie Rocha said she is proud the event had a positive impact on young lives.
“Our athletes were able to experience amazing moments of joy and connection as they competed, played games and proudly represented their schools. Our student volunteers were given the opportunity to experience the pure joy of helping another, which is an experience that will shape their character as they move into adulthood,” Rocha said.
Both Rocha and Rodriguez appreciate the unity brought by the schools co-hosting the event.
“Seeing all of our sports, clubs and athletes collaborate to make this a memorable event for students on our side of the county always puts a smile on my face. Working with Newsome to co-sponsor the games has created an opportunity for our communities to work together to support our students,” Rodriguez said.
Newsome and Bloomingdale will continue to host the games, alternating locations on a yearly basis. For more information about the IncrediBULL Games, contact Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org.