SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Converse College athletics department has been vigorously giving back to the community at an astonishing rate during the 2017-18 fiscal year. With the help of a program called Helper Helper, the Valkyries were able to record more than 3,700 hours worth of community service over the past year. That number left them No. 6 in the country for all Division II programs.
Recently, head basketball coach Dean Walsh was able to give back to Spartanburg at the 2018 Spartanburg County Special Olympics. During the event, Walsh was the MC for the day and made a bond with the participants of the Olympics. The event was held at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind.
"This was a special honor to emcee the Special Olympics", said Walsh. "It is an organization that I love helping and being involved with since my days coaching in Tennessee. To be able to represent Converse College in such a prestigious event is also an honor. It's a fun way to spend the day watching the athletes compete, not only to win, but to have fun while competing. Seeing the joy on each individuals' face was priceless and I thank everyone involved for allowing me to be a part of this special event."
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.
Several teams for the Valkyries ranked in the top-10 overall in its respective sport within the Helper Helper program. Converse Volleyball led the way with a 2nd-place finish, totaling 1,113 hours of service. Listed below are the other sports who made a significant impact within the community:
Basketball: 3rd/830 hours
Golf: 3rd/82 hours
Tennis: 5th/182 hours
Softball: 6th/210 hours
Track: 9th/734 hours
Soccer: 12th/225 hours