Tuesday, July 21, 2015

OU-C student Casey Oates offers unique athletic opportunity for Pioneer School students

By public relations student writer Madison Corbin

Casey Oates, a senior at Ohio University-Chillicothe studying criminal justice and an active individual on campus, has learned to make the most of his time, resources and wide range of roles in Chillicothe.  This summer, he sought to provide a positive opportunity to his fellow community members.

By partnering with the Pioneer School, a local institution for students with developmental disabilities, Oates was able to organize and execute an athletic camp for children who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to participate in sports. 

“I’ve really wanted to do something like this since I was in high school,” said Casey.  “I’m just trying to give kids an opportunity to do something they’re not used to.”   

At Oates’ football camp, participants were provided helmets and uniforms, led through a series of stretches and warmups, and invited to participate in an array of football drills.  At each stage of the camp, kids were encouraged to practice an “end zone dance.”

“We just wanted them to have fun,” said Oates.  “That’s what this was really all about.”
Oates was able to implement the leadership and communication skills he has acquired throughout his time at OU-C into coordinating the football camp.  The event gave him a chance to further develop and demonstrate skills that he believes will transfer invaluably to his professional pursuits.

“In criminal justice, you’ll deal with a variety of people and being in a diverse situation like this helps you interact,” said Oates. “People communicate differently and learning to communicate in different ways really helped today.”

Following the enthusiasm of participants, the positive feedback of his co-organizers, and the overall success of the event, Oates hopes to make the football camp an annual opportunity for children with developmental disabilities.  When asked about his favorite part of the experience, Oates replied “I think all of it was the best part.” 

A video of the camp is available on the campus’ YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RZz50wjhtE.

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