Cassandra Rotolo 2017-01-25 00:49:43
Special Olympics Athlete Cherishes His Role as a Lion Lion Steve Rodenbeck embodies the spirit of Special Olympics (SO) on and off the playing field. His leadership in his community, on the field and in his workplace represents the power that SO athletes have to impact those around them. An SO athlete for nearly 20 years, Rodenbeck plays several sports. A proud member of Team New Jersey’s flag football team during the 2010 USA Games in Nebraska, he led his teammates to a bronze medal. Rodenbeck was also a member of Team NJ during the 2014 USA Games, competing in unified volleyball. He and his teammates advanced to the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles as members of SO USA. They proudly represented the USA and New Jersey, taking fourth place. He also competes in floor hockey, basketball and tennis. Rodenbeck graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University, receiving an award for distinguished academic performance. He now works as a conference center coordinator where he recently was honored for “doing right.” Rodenbeck is very active in his community. Volunteering as a global messenger, he speaks publicly on behalf of SO. He currently serves as chairperson for the Athlete Congress, the governing body representing SO New Jersey athletes’ interest. He also is president of his Garden State Champions Lions Club. What made you want to become a Lion? I wanted to make a difference in the community and other people’s lives. How has being a Lion made you a better athlete leader and community leader? Being a Lion has taught me the value of teamwork within a group. Working on numerous service projects with the group has enabled me to assist members. It’s all about making a difference in the community and other people’s lives. What type of new skills has being a Lion taught you? Leadership, teamwork and communication is the key. How would you increase volunteering with Lions in your community? By working and communicating with other Lions clubs in the area. This way, we can have our members plus members of the other Lions clubs working as one unit. Remember, there is no “I” in team. How do you envision athlete leaders learning more about leadership opportunities with Lions to help their communities? What could our clubs do to help that? Athlete Leaders could take Leadership Seminar courses to expand their leadership skills. This way, this will teach them the value of hard work and dedication while leading a team effort. Also, the more that we are involved with service projects and fundraisers, the more that we will feel that we have made a positive impact in our community. How do you see local Lions helping with awareness for your Special Olympics program? Getting other Lions clubs to attend and participate in Special Olympics New Jersey events would be a simple way for them to see and embrace our Special Olympics community. What is your one message to other clubs regarding athlete engagement? Help support our great cause by volunteering in our many events. We have sports training and competition September through June. Athletes love to meet new volunteers. Also, our Garden State Lions Club is always looking forward to working as a unit and with other clubs as well. Champion clubs are special interest Lions clubs that support Special Olympics. For information on the Lions Clubs International- Special Olympics partnership, visit lcif.org. Rodenbeck has played in flag football for Special Olympics since 2007.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Foundation+Impact/2695381/379188/article.html.