When Andro Keck recites the Scout’s Oath, he takes every word to heart. He promises “to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” Every day, he strives to live by those words.
But there is also another oath by which Keck aims to live.
“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
The Special Olympics Athlete Oath is one that Keck had never heard before moving to Kure Beach, NC, six years ago. Yet, it’s one that has made all the difference.
“Special Olympics has made me more confident in myself,” explains Keck. “I have been successful in Special Olympics and that gives me more confidence when I go to Boy Scouts, JROTC or school.”
From his first year as a Special Olympics athlete to now, Keck sees a difference not only in his sports skills but within himself, too.
“He is really able to be himself and there is no judgment. There is a lot of support and encouragement,” describes Keck’s mother, Christina.
Part of being himself means being a leader in his community. Not long after moving to North Carolina, Keck joined his school’s JROTC. Similar to the Scout’s Oath and Athlete Oath, Keck lives by the JROTC Creed. From drill practices to volunteering, Keck believes that JROTC has pushed him to be a citizen leader.
Keck brings that attitude with him to practices and competitions. Always striving to be the best he can be is what makes Keck an exemplary scout, Cadet and athlete.
An avid swimmer and golfer, he maintains that there is always room for improvement. However, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t bask in the glory sometimes!
“I can’t pick a favorite sport between swimming and golf,” says Keck. “But people cheering me on is my favorite.”
Though he can’t choose between the two sports, golf has been a part of his life since he was ten years old. When he first started playing with Special Olympics, Keck and his father, Dan, played as Unified partners. It soon became a true family affair as Keck’s grandpa, also a golfer, started playing with him.
Now, Keck plays nine holes by himself and often comes home from competitions with plenty of hardware. In July, Keck will head to Seattle where he will represent North Carolina on Team NC Golf in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games!
All of his hard work, through Special Olympics, JROTC and Boy Scouts, has led him to this very moment. When Keck walks onto the green, he will think back to the oaths he has taken and remember that he is physically strong, mentally awake, morally straight and always brave in the attempt.
Congratulations on being named the 2018 SONC June Athlete of the Month, Andro!