Opposite her opponent, racket in hand, Special Olympics Davie County athlete Brittany Green claims the court as her own. She has been competing in Special Olympics since the age of 9 and for the past 15 years, has been serving up competition in tennis. Those who are closest to Green attest to the joy she brings to their lives, the sense of sportsmanship she brings to the field of play.
“I love tennis,” said Green. “It’s fun, it’s easy to play and I can learn more on how to do better.”
At the 2022 Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) Fall Tournament, held Nov. 10-12 in Charlotte, North Carolina, Green was presented the Robb Williams Tennis Sportsmanship Award, an award established in memory of SONC athlete Robb Williams, his love for tennis and his value of sportsmanship. For many years, Green shared the court with Williams, solidifying a friendship that would make her nomination so meaningful.
“I think he would be very proud of Brittany,” said Special Olympics Davie County Local Program Coordinator Katie Brewer. “He treated others so kindly and was so inclusive, Brittany is the same way. She wants everyone to succeed and is inclusive of everyone, lifting others up. A real leader is tuned into how others are doing, and Brittany might not realize that about herself, but she is truly a leader.”
The extraordinary impact that Williams impressed upon his Special Olympics family and the community at large is revered to this day. Williams knew everyone, Williams loved everyone, and his presence extended far past the bounds of Davie County.
“Robb was a good person that I could talk to,” said Brittany. “He gave me advice; he was like my brother.”
Competing in individual tennis skills at the 2022 SONC Fall Tournament, Green refers to the event as her “best Fall Tournament yet.” She was undeniably proud upon her return to Davie County, adding a gold medal and the Robb Williams Tennis Sportsmanship Award to her list of accolades. At work, she recounts those successes with her colleagues.
Green is employed through Monarch, a statewide provider of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders. In the Davie County Government Building, she serves snacks from the New Horizons Snack Shop vendor cart, making her rounds, brightening the days of her many coworkers, including Brewer.
“Brittany and I work in the same building,” explained Brewer. “Sales are always higher on days that Brittany is here. We love seeing her come around the corner. We don’t go to the snack machine; we wait on Brittany.”
For the past two years, Green staffs the vendor cart every Monday and Wednesday. Through Monarch, individuals, like Brittany, are provided real-life experience to learn job skills in a positive, safe atmosphere. In serving others, her positivity is radiant.
“I’m happy,” said Green. “I feel blessed, I’m proud of what I am doing.”
In addition to training in tennis, Green is the captain of the Special Olympics Davie County cheerleading team, a role that best suits her character, lifting others up, sharing a smile with those she meets. To her, the grass is always greener right where she is standing.