The April blog for ALPs University Indiana
Going to Indianapolis last week was totally worth missing the swimmer’s area meet. I and a few staff went to the ALPs University to represent Missouri. We got to learn so much about the athletes, coaches, and staff in Indiana. I look forward to when Missouri has a branch of the ALPs University.
In case you didn’t know, ALP is short for Athlete Leadership Program. Any Indiana athlete may join. They get together twice a year and take two classes to advance their skills in becoming Special Olympic leaders, or any leader they choose to be. The athletes have several choices as to which class to take; whether it be Videography and Photography, Global Messenger (1 or 2), Introduction to Athlete Leadership, Powerpoint, and so much more. With Global Messenger, they get to be representatives for Special Olympics Indiana.
As short as the trip was, I had a lot of fun. I got to meet so many people. I was able to record footage in the Videography and Photography class, that I will be combining both videos and uploading it on my YouTube channel. One of the things that I absolutely love about the ALPs University is that there was an input council meeting before the first class. I found it absolutely inspirational.
Not only did coaches and parents speak up to add input on how to make Special Olympics and the ALPs University better; the athletes did as well. A lot of the athletes spoke their minds and added many things on the list of inputs they had. The list went over 40 inputs; while they kept listing off more to add, the man encouraging them teased and picked on me throughout the council. He seriously wanted me to speak my mind, so that my thoughts could be count as input.
Towards the end, he finally managed to get me to say something. At that point, all the athletes were inspiring me. In fact, it almost brought tears to my eyes. I loved every moment being in that auditorium. It made me realize that the ALPs University needed to be all over the country, not just Missouri. So I stood after he pointed at me and said, “I think that ALPs University should have branches all over the country, including Missouri.” Before I could even sit down, a lot of the people in the audience applauded.
My trip to the ALPs University really effected me. It has put so many thoughts in my mind as to how to make Special Olympics Missouri better and improve. Not very many athletes in my state are involved in becoming leaders, let alone pay for certain things to make it easier for SOMO. I want to be more than a Global Messenger, more than a leader. I look forward to us having an ALPs University not just because we need it. Also because us athletes have so much potential in our disabled and/or able-bodied selves.