Best Buddies holds first kickball game


photo by Sophia Canabal

Sophomore Kennedy Hildebrandt throws the ball. Best Buddies held the kickball game on Jan. 28.

After months of scorching heat, stifling humidity and monstrous hurricanes, Best Buddies members are finally able to step foot outside, taking advantage of Florida’s mild winter weather. 

On Jan. 28, Best Buddies hosted their first kickball game of the year after school. According to club sponsor Lois Arp, the club almost never holds outdoor activities, but the cool weather has allowed them to find a change of scenery. 

“We try to do outdoor activities in the months we can because it is usually hot outside and many of the students have sensory issues with heat,” Arp said. “They asked us if they could play it next time too, so I think they really enjoyed it.”

According to junior Madalynn Flynn, playing outdoor sports is one of the many ways Best Buddies accommodates activities for special education students. 

“There is no pressure for the buddies to perform in any way. Everyone cheers everyone on and we adjust the rules a little bit to make it more inclusive for people who can’t play the usual way,” Flynn said. 

Instead of keeping score throughout the game, the club decided it would be easier to play kickball without the technical rules, making it easier to simply have fun without stressing about the details, according to Flynn. 

Aside from outdoor activities, the club also hopes to work with art teacher Omar Otero to allow the students to express their creativity, as many of their buddies enjoyed working on PTSA art projects in the past. As the end of the school year approaches, the club plans to hold a farewell event for its senior members in May, according to Arp. 

“[The farewell] is to thank the students that have worked with our program for so long and made every moment special,” Arp said. “We have a few more events planned for the year, but so far, the buddies have loved everything we’ve planned for them.”