TWU student serves as volunteer at national Special Olympics

Ask Texas Woman’s University senior Lauren Bach what she did over the summer, and no doubt the highlight will be volunteering at the National Special Olympics games, held July 1-6 in Seattle.

Girl posing outside Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center

Bach, a kinesiology major from Aledo with a minor in education, has balanced summer classes with working as assistant pool manager in TWU’s Pioneer Hall. She’s a certified Special Olympics swim coach and says when she received an email seeking volunteers for the 50th anniversary Special Olympics USA Games, she decided to give it a try. Bach was among thousands of volunteers, family members and fans cheering on the athletes.

“It was so phenomenal,” she said. “No one saw anyone’s disability — they were just athletes.”

Bach volunteered to work the swimming events and was tasked with taking the competition results to ESPN for its broadcast. After an event, she said, “I ran across the pool area and up the stairs to give the results to ESPN and put them on a wall for the coaches.” With several events scheduled during her time there, Bach said she was tired but excited.

“I’d thought about volunteering in another area, just to see and do something different, but I’m most passionate about the pool events and decided I would be most helpful there,” Bach said.

She doesn’t remember learning to swim, but says she began swimming competitively at age 5, continuing through high school. Her passion for working with those in the special needs community also began at an early age.

Girl in glasses, standing beside swimming pool

“When my family moved to Aledo, all our neighbors had children with special needs,” Bach said. “I was always around them.”

Bach wants to further serve children with special needs by becoming an adapted physical education teacher. She plans to continue her education at TWU by pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in adapted physical education after earning her bachelor’s degree in May 2019.

“We have really great classes at TWU,” she said, adding that her teacher education classes have helped prepare her for what she might see in a classroom — “not just textbook stuff.”

Her professors are impressed with her, as well.

“I love the opportunity I have had to work with Lauren,” said Rebecca Fredrickson, Ed.D., associate professor of teacher education at TWU. “Her passion for teaching and meeting the needs of students is exciting. She will change the world!”

Bach already is preparing for the future, beginning with the May 2019 graduation ceremony.

“I’ve already put the Special Olympics motto — ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt’ — on my graduation cap,” she said, smiling. 

Media Contact

Karen Garcia
Communication Specialist

Page last updated 2:56 PM, August 20, 2018