POWELL, OH (WCMH) — Nick Darragh is a senior co-captain of the Olentangy Liberty tennis team, and when he discovered the Delaware Special Olympics program did not offer tennis, he decided to start a team. He now coaches six athletes with special needs every week while also maintaining a busy class and athletic schedule.
“It’s awesome getting to know these special needs kids and to see them grow,” said Darragh.
Nick started volunteering for the Special Olympics when he was in middle school alongside his dad, who still helps him with the tennis program each week. The athletes vary in ages and skill level. Clyde Yoder is the oldest member of the team at age 52.
“He’s getting a hold of it now, you can easily see all the fun they’re having,” said Darragh.
Brandon McNally is a member of Nick’s team who is trying to play tennis for the first time. His father, Sean, likes to help Nick and his dad at practice each week.
“They really encourage the kids to have fun, they teach them the fundamentals, they start with the stretching the running, but it’s all about fun and seeing the kids improve practice after practice and into the meets it’s a really neat experience,” said McNally.
Darragh added, “I love coaching them and telling them how to hold a racket, how to hit a forehand and a back hand.”
After his experience coaching these athletes, Nick feels he will always stay involved with Special Olympics in the future.
“If not in college, then definitely throughout my adult life,” said Darragh.
Nick plans to attend Ohio University in the fall and wants to major in Pre-Medicine.