For the 36th year, The Governor's Academy proudly hosted the Massachusetts Special Olympics Soccer Tournament on Sunday, November 5, on our campus in Byfield. The event was attended by over 800 athletes and coaches from 50 teams across Massachusetts.
Three co-directors, Chelsea Cashin ’24, Victoria Liu ’24, and Ava Mallick ’24, worked diligently with a 72-member (student) management team to ensure the event ran smoothly and was enjoyed by all. Preparations began as early as this summer and continued throughout the fall with the co-directors planning the details of the event each afternoon with faculty advisor Aaron Mandel P’27, holding bi-weekly meetings with the student heads and shadows, and hosting an all-school volunteer training during a Convocation. In addition, the co-directors hosted a raffle to raise money and awareness of Special Olympics Massachusetts Association—they successfully raised $800.
“I didn’t realize the soccer tournament's impact on so many individuals until all the teams walked in with huge smiles during the opening ceremony. I am proud to have been included in something bigger than me,” said Cashin. Mallick added, “Seeing the joy in each of the athletes' faces as they competed made me grateful to be a part of such an amazing organization with a long history of partnering with Govs each fall.”
At the tournament, student and employee volunteers witnessed the teams' competitive spirit and sportsmanship. New this year were three food trucks—Fat Belly BBQ, Whoopie Wagon, and Metzy’s—which provided delicious food and a festiveness to athletes, spectators, and volunteers’ days. “Cheering on and fist-bumping athletes, as well as interacting with their family members, brought an instant smile to my face and made me realize the value of our work at Govs. I am honored to have represented this event with my amazing co-directors, and I hope this event gets better every year,” said Liu.