GRAND FORKS, N.D. --- Once a week over a six-week span, the University of North Dakota softball team takes 3-4 hours out of its schedule to support local Special Olympians at Liberty Lanes in East Grand Forks, Minn.
Leading the way is senior Kenna Olsen (Issaquah, Wash.) who was nominated for the Special Olympics North Dakota Youth Service Award.
"The team has done work with the Special Olympics for a few years now," head coach Eric Oakley said. "It's a very important to our team. The girls do a great job and I am very proud of the all. But, once you're there and you see the interaction, you realize that it's not a community service event as much as it's just athletes supporting other athletes, and they come to our games. It's really a relationship of respect among athletes."
The softball team received last year's UND Night of Champions Female Team Community Service Award. During the 2011-12 year, the team worked 22 community service events, equating to 718 total hours, or 34.2 hourst per student-athlete.