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Life at McCormick June 18, 2024

Associate General Counsel Dwayne Brodie Turns Passion for Sports into Opportunity to Give Back Through Special Olympics

Dwayne Brodie, Drew Brodie


Dwayne Brodie has a passion for sports. His father played college football, and Dwayne grew up playing football and basketball for his local youth sports leagues.  
After his son Drew was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, Dwayne knew that sports within the local youth sports leagues would be challenging for Drew. Nevertheless, Dwayne still wanted an outlet for Drew to exercise and experience the positive benefits of being an athlete and participating in sports.

That is when Dwayne discovered Special Olympics, a global organization that offers year-round sports training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities. When Drew was eight, he joined the local Special Olympics swim team, and Dwayne began volunteering as a swim coach.

“Exercise calms Drew’s mind, and the swimming pool was a place where Drew found clarity and peace. Special Olympics is great because it provides people with mental and physical limitations an opportunity to experience inclusion and benefit from individual and team sports,” said Dwayne. 

After his son suffered a seizure in the swimming pool and was no longer medically cleared to participate in competitive swimming, Drew joined other sports – and Dwayne volunteered to coach those other sports to further develop Drew’s physical fitness, social and leadership skills.

Dwayne is the Head Coach of Drew’s basketball team and an Assistant Coach on Drew’s track & field and bowling teams. Dwayne spends 11 months of the year coaching Special Olympics teams in conjunction with his active role as a member of the Special Olympics of Maryland Board of Directors.

“The athletes I coach in basketball have varying skills and abilities, so I tend to pair the athletes in complementary ways, and then I focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.”

Dwayne definitely has a recipe for success. His basketball team won the state title in the 3v3 bracket this past April at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Since Drew began participating in Special Olympics, Drew was recognized as the Special Olympics of Maryland Co-Athlete of the Month in 2018, he has won multiple state titles in basketball, many individual gold medals in swimming, a silver medal in his track & field event in the 2023 Special Olympics of Maryland Summer Games, and an individual gold medal in both the 2023 and 2024 State Championships in bowling.

While Dwayne is extremely proud of Drew’s accomplishments, he notes that “for more than a decade, what is most impactful and gratifying of volunteering and coaching Special Olympics sports, I have witnessed first-hand athletes with intellectual disabilities develop confidence, leadership skills, accountability, courage, compassion, and friendships through sport that will last a lifetime. In my role as a coach and volunteer, I have been inspired by our athletes. I have learned so much from them and I continue to be moved when observing our athletes thrive regardless of their abilities.”

As a member of the Special Olympics of Maryland Board of Directors, Dwayne will be focused on increasing public awareness about individuals with intellectual disabilities while representing and advocating for current and future Special Olympic athletes. 

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