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Special Olympics at Jesuit

Special Olympics at Jesuit

One of Jesuit High School's most cherished annual traditions is the Dads' Club's participation in the Special Olympics each spring. The Dads' Club is involved year-round in planning the event, and their dedication to the cause is a driving force in the success of the Special Olympics in Tampa

On Saturday, April 6, the Jesuit Dads' Club will host the Hillsborough County (Area 8) Special Olympics for the 4th consecutive year at Jesuit High School. And to kick-off Special Olympics "season" at Jesuit, Special Olympics athlete and global messenger Thomas Shervington spoke to the Jesuit student body at Convocation on Wednesday (March 20), the 3rd straight year he has addressed the students. (Shervington is pictured at right on the homepage with Ken Roop, P '13, '17, the Special Olympics County Director.

Shervington explained how Special Olympics has made an enormous impact on his life, helping transform him from a shy, quiet youth with no friends to a competitive athlete with many friends, a job, and a role as an athlete representative of the Special Olympics, which recently brought him to Australia. Shervington also recognized Trace Nuss '19 for his recent donation of $17,000 to the Special Olympics. Nuss' donation was part of the $25,000 in charitable donations he made for being named a Community Hero of Tomorrow by the Tampa Bay Lightning, click here to read about it and view photos.

Planning and operating the Hillsborough County games at Jesuit is a major undertaking. In addition to all of the Dads' Club volunteers, hundreds of student volunteers play an essential role with a variety of activities including scorekeeping, awards, athlete support, and clean up and break down of the event. Click here to register as a student volunteer for the Special Olympics at Jesuit on April 6.

For more information about the Special Olympics and how you can get involved, including sponsorship opportunities, please email

Please see below a video of Shervington's Convocation, and below that is a history of the Special Olympics in Florida and at Jesuit.



Jesuit's involvement dates back to the roots of Special Olympics Florida. On June 3, 1972, Eunice Kennedy Shriver (the founder of the Special Olympics) and Gov. Reubin Askew came to Jesuit, and, along with Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, they lit the Olympic Torch as the school hosted the first statewide Special Olympics. After years at the University of South Florida, in 2016 the Special Olympics were brought back to Jesuit by the Dads' Club.

2018: In the spring of 2018, the Dads' Club hosted the Special Olympics at Jesuit for the 3rd straight year. The Special Olympics Florida 2018 Area 8 Summer Games at Jesuit on March 24, 2018 were once again a spectacular successClick here for the full story, and click here for a phenomenal photo slideshow from this amazing event. Special Olympics athlete and global messenger Thomas Shervington spoke to the Jesuit student body this spring at Convocation for the 2nd consecutive year on Feb. 23, 2018. Click here to view Shervington's presentation.

2017: The Special Olympics Florida 2017 Area 8 Summer Games were a smash hit at Jesuit High School in their second year on campus. Under the leadership and direction of the Jesuit Dads' Club, the games went off smoothly and successfully, with hundreds of athletes, supported by an army of volunteers, enjoying the competition. Click here for a story, click here for a news segment by Sara Belsole of Bay News 9, and click here for a photo slideshow.

2016: The Special Olympics Florida 2016 Area 8 Summer Games had added significance as, for the first time, it was held right here at Jesuit High School. Despite rainy conditions resulting in the cancellation of afternoon competition, the event was a tremendous success. A year of planning culminated in hundreds of athletes, volunteers, and spectators coming together on a beautiful morning. Click here for a photo slideshow, media coverage, and a story about Special Olympics 2016 at Jesuit.

Founded in the 1960s, today Special Olympics Inc. is the world's largest provider of fitness training, education, and athletic competition – coupled with social, life, and leadership skill development opportunities – for children and adults with intellectual disabilities or a similar developmental disability. Special Olympics Florida was founded in 1972 and is one of the largest volunteer-driven athletic organizations in the state. Special Olympics Florida–Hillsborough County currently serves more than 1,500 athletes in 17 different sports. The athletes also are invited to participate in Athlete Leadership Programs and Healthy Athletes initiatives. More than 1,200 people from Tampa Bay volunteer each year with Special Olympics Florida–Hillsborough County.

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