The Spectacular Special Olympics

The Special Olympics is back, and our athletes are coming for that gold! On December 4th, Apopka High School hosted the first Special Olympics tournament since 2019. For those who don’t know what Special Olympics is, it’s an organization that allows people with disabilities compete in a variety of sports. This competition has been introduced all around the world with over 5 million participants and over 100 thousand events. To sign up as a player, coach, or volunteer, go to

The Special Olympics event was exciting to say the least. Both boys and girls competed in basketball games striving to come out on top. The energy in the gym was at an all time high with each competitor motivating their teammates and fans in the stand cheering them on. During the breaks in between games the players also got to make new friends and enjoy a snack. Emma Brabham, a sophomore who was one of many volunteers at this tournament, states that she loved “being a part of an amazing group and surrounded by loving, caring people.” Brandon Johnson is a senior at Apopka High School on the boys basketball team who highlighted the teams’ atmosphere and amazing personalities within the event. Apopka boys and girls basketball volunteered on December 4th. This allowed them to meet people who share the same passion for a sport that they do and gave them a new perspective on the special olympics program.


Not only is this event a great experience for volunteers and fans but, most importantly, it is quite an experience for our athletes participating in the tournament. One athlete was eager to be interviewed and has not stopped boasting about his blue ribbon since his team earned it on that Saturday afternoon. “Well this my fourth year playing Special Olympics Florida. I used to do Special Olympics, but I did individual skills basketball until this year he bumped me up to 5 and 5,” explained Tim Bradley. He also gave a huge shoutout to Coach Schwarze for recruiting him to play Special Olympics his freshman year. Players like Tim learn how to play and interact with other kids through this organization, which also improves their social and life skills.

The amazing man behind Apopka’s Special Olympics team is Coach Schwarze. Not only does he coach his athletes to be the best they can be, but he also supports our other high school athletes by being the commentator during football, basketball, and other sports’ games. The Blue and White would like to give a special thanks to Coach Schwarze for being an active contributor in Apopka’s sports community.

If you would like to support our Special Olympic athletes at their next tournament, or possibly volunteer with the organization, the next tournament will be hosted at The Big House in Taverese on January 23rd. The Apopka team is currently on a 2-0 winning streak and don’t plan on losing anytime soon. Lastly, The Blue and White wishes our Special Olympics team good luck on January 23rd!