Cassi Goodman, a Holly Springs resident for five years has been a Special Olympics participant for the same period of time here in Wake County. When her family moved here from South Florida, Cassi wanted to become involved immediately with Special Olympics as she had been involved for the previous five years. In Florida, Cassi participated in Special Olympics swimming, color guard and soccer.
In Wake County, Cassi played soccer for the first few seasons making many new friends along the way. She moved on to track and field for the last three years in order to continue her exercise and improve some personal skill goals. During the track and field season Cassi attends practice on Sunday afternoon with her dad, her teammates and coaches. At practice she works on speed and form. Cassi usually enters the 100m walk, 100m dash and a 400m event, sometimes walking or running. On June 2, Cassi participated in three events and took home three medals, a silver and two bronze.
Cassi also played golf for one season and eventually found herself on the SONC tennis team through which she earned a spot at National Games with Team North Carolina in tennis. The trip to Nebraska for Special Olympics National Games in July of 2010 as a tennis participant was awesome! At that time she was a “skills” player. Cassi has now moved on to “short court”. Cassi met many other tennis players from around the country as well as some tennis stars and professional tennis players. Presently she is continuing tennis through the Adaptive Tennis Association of North Carolina (ATANC). One of the Special Oympics tennis coaches and a volunteer family began this program so tennis athletes could continue to play tennis all year. The athletes are coached each week and there are four tournaments a year for the players to participate in.
The amazing commitment on the part of the Special Olympic athletes, coaches and many volunteers is forever inspiring. Camaraderie amongst the athletes in all sports is lasting. Cassi has developed (as well as her family) a network of friends and their families who have had a major impact on her life. It has been a pleasure to see the joy and excitement Cassi expresses as result of her Special Olympics involvement.
In addition, Cassi has been a part of a theatre group called S.T.A.R. – Special Theatre Arts of Raleigh for the past three years. The group gets together from early September through April rehearsing, performing and sometimes writing their own play. The group gives back to the community by helping the needy at holiday time, giving gifts and entertainment whenever possible. At this year’s Special Olympics Summer Games the S.T.A.R. group sang a variety of songs from their previous plays. The performance was a big hit. Once again she has been supported by many parents and volunteers, some of whom we have met through Special Olympics, Cassi’s goal along with our support is to continue developing personal skills and friendships.