Mom coaches hoops team for Special Olympics
Her first involvement with the Special Olympics was as a parent. Szabo has three children, two of which participate in Special Olympics sports programs. One of her sons plays on a Lake Houston Hurricanes basketball team and, when she saw that they needed more coaches, Szabo, a stay-at-home mom, signed up.
"My favorite part about coaching the team is seeing the kids' progress," she said. "It's amazing. We'll always have kids at the beginning of the year that really can't even dribble, and by the end, they can really play three-on-three. It's such a sense of accomplishment – both for them and for me – seeing that they've made so much progress."
Szabo's Lake Houston Hurricanes team competes in the annual Special Olympics basketball program each March. The competition gives players a chance to show off all the skills they've learned during the season.
"With three-on-three, we only go to one tournament a year, so it's just one day, but it really puts a capstone on the whole year," Szabo said. "We start practicing at the beginning of November and then we go all the way through the end of March. When we go to the tournament, we've been together for five months of practice, and they really see it pay off."
In addition to all the volunteer work that she does with the Lake Houston Hurricanes basketball team, Szabo somehow manages to find the time to serve as assistant den leader for her son's Webelos troop and junior leader for her daughter's Girl Scouts troop.
"These programs always need people who are willing to volunteer," Szabo said. "It's usually hard to find people, so if you're a stay-at-home mom, you've got to step up or else it just isn't going to get done."
For more information on Lake Houston Hurricanes Special Olympics sports teams, visit www.lakehoustonhurricanes.org. To learn more about Special Olympics Texas, call 512-835-9873, email email@example.com or visit www.sotx.org. You can also connect with Special Olympics Texas on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
ABOUT Julianna Szabo
OCCUPATION: Stay-at-home mom and community volunteer
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Kingwood resident
FAST FACT: Homeschools two of her three children; the third attends a local private school
Megan Mattingly-Arthur is a freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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