When it comes to sports and competition, the virtues of sportsmanship are just as important as the outcome of the game itself. Whenever Keshaun Tillman competes in athletics, bocce, basketball and cycling, he recognizes the significance of encouraging his peers.
After adjusting to his family’s move from Georgia five years ago, he quickly found his place in Special Olympics Wilkes County.
“When he first arrived, he was a little shy. Special Olympics NC has really opened up his social skills and made him more comfortable,” said Crystal Tillman, Tillman’s mother.
As he’s gained confidence, Tillman has turned his attention to helping his peers do the same.
“He considers himself the helper and he likes to explain how things are done. If an athlete is having a hard time running, he’ll run beside him,” said Crystal Tillman.
Tillman attributes much of what he has learned about sportsmanship to his supportive family, who offer him constant encouragement and are always in attendance when he competes.
Today, Tillman has taken those lessons to heart and is pushing himself and other athletes to do their best, win or lose.
“We call him Wilkes County’s Energizer Bunny because of his dedication and energy. He practices and competes with a high level of confidence and has high expectations for himself. He is an inspiration to the other members of his team and encourages them to keep working,” said Wilkes County Local Coordination Susan Allen.
To celebrate his hard work and dedication, Tillman was selected to carry the torch in the Wilkes County Spring Games along with 15 law enforcement officers, a moment that he’ll remember forever.
In all aspects of Tillman’s life, he continues to share his excitement and passion for working with others.
“His positive attitude and engaging smile serve as a constant reminder to our coaching staff and those who know him that he truly lives the Special Olympics Athlete Oath, ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,’” said Allen.
Congratulations Keshaun Tillman on being named 2016 Special Olympics NC August Athlete of the Month!
Day of the Week: Wednesday
Vacation: Gatlinburg, TN
Food: Macaroni and cheese