February 08, 2017 | Updated: January 29, 2019

Kathy Slater is a Key Volunteer who’s working at one of the many volunteer check-in tables for bowling this weekend. Her other SOTX volunteer job is as a member of the state Equestrian Games planning committee.

She first got involved with Special Olympics Texas when she worked as a speech therapist.  “Another teacher at my school needed help with the spring games over in Bryan, so she suckered me in to helping. I’ve been here ever since,” she said. (More than 35 years!)

Slater says that someone interested in becoming more involved in SOTX, either as a coach or Key Volunteer, is to just jump into it. “The training that Special Olympics Texas gives is great. You can learn what you need to know from the training and other coaches.”

When Slater was teaching, having students participate in Special Olympics took the boredom out of the paperwork and other not-so-fun parts of teaching.  “It helped me find something to look forward to that was outside the classroom. It was great to see the students involved in something where they had fun.”

Her favorite part of (any) Games? “Watching the kids get excited over just everything. They get excited if they don’t win. They just get excited.”

One of the important things about Special Olympics Texas, Slater said, is the opportunity to show our athletes doing the unexpected. “I think that the more that we can publicly show the ability of these athletes, of what they CAN do when people have said they can’t do it, is important. And they CAN do it all. They can do it a lot better than I can. The public display of what they can do is important.”