Decatur County Special Olympics Track and Field moves indoors for day of exercise, fun

Published 7:14 pm Friday, April 1, 2016


Powell Cobb — Post-Searchlight
full sprint: Cayden Edmond, Jamarion Carter, Tyrese Baker, Joel Lumpkins, Aaron Caldwell and Jar’Tavius Alexander hustle in the 100-yard dash in the BHS gym.












It was going to take more than a little rain to hold off the seventh annual Decatur County Special Olympics Track and Field event.

Normally held at the Bainbridge High School track, the Track and Field day gives special needs students in the community an opportunity for friendly competition and athletic accomplishments.

Ninety-two kids from Decatur, Grady, Seminole and Miller counties filed into the BHS gym Friday morning, led by a parade of drummer and cheerleader volunteers from the high school. Their smiles were big as they saw everybody cheering when they entered onto the court.

Local chiropractor Landin Marzolf toted the torch around the gym for the ceremonial torch run, followed along the way by members of local law enforcement. Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin also presented Decatur County Special Olympics with a $1,000 check on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office.

The pledge of allegiance and national anthem were sung, and then the games began. Students were split up into groups to rotate from station to station around the gym. Activities included the long jump, the 50 and 100-meter dash, Frisbee throwing, soccer ball kicking and softball throwing.

Special Olympics chairman Wanda Thomas said she was thrilled with the way this year’s even turned out. After an abrupt cancellation two year’s ago due to weather, the board was prepared to move the activities inside the gym with the approval of BHs principal Tommie Howell.

“I think it worked pretty well indoors,” Thomas said. “We went to Mr. Tommie Howell and he said from now on, we can have it in the gym. This week we have been planning for the event to be inside.”

The majority of volunteers were BHS students, who moved with the special needs kids from station to station and encouraged them every step of the way.

“I just love helping others,” senior Vishva Patel said. “Everybody is blessed in their own way, you just have to be grateful for what you have. Those that don’t have what we have, you have to help them understand they’re perfect as well. I love seeing everybody smile and have a good time.”

Pepsi, Home Depot, First Port City Bank, Verizon Wireless, Melinda Taylor State Farm, Bainbridge State College, the Pilot Club of Bainbridge, Bainbridge Public Safety, the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol and the Decatur County School System were crucial in bringing the event together.

All participants at the Track and Field event were awarded.