Special Olympics hits the lanes

Published 3:27 pm Friday, November 18, 2016

By John Simpson


The Langston Gray Bowling Alley was packed in the morning of Thursday, Nov. 17. There was a noticeable level of excitement that could be felt right when you walk through the doors, a level of excitement that can only become with friendly competition.

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It was the excitement and friendly competition that comes with the Decatur County Special Olympics bowling event.

Each school in the Decatur County School System is represented at the event, and that was enough to fill the bowling alley. Kids of all ages were spread across the lanes and did their best to knock down as many pins as they could. However, it was more smiles than anything.

“It’s one of the highlights of their year,” said Catherine Gossett, director of the special needs programs for the Decatur County School System.

It showed. The children were bouncing around the room with excitement and each child wore a smile on his or her face.

The event gives them a good time, food, and a day off of school. What quickly became apparent just how friendly the competition was, but it was a competition nonetheless.

“Whoever places first through eighth gets a ribbon,” says Wanda Thomas, “everyone else gets participation.”

Thomas is the chairman for the Special Olympics Committee in Decatur County. She oversees the events from the planning stages all the way through the actual event.

The bowling event is the first of two major events that the Special Olympics put on during the year. In the spring, they will host their annual track and field day.

The events are a good way to get the students out of the classroom and give them something to cherish.

If the excitement from the bowling event is any indication, then the track and field day will be an excellent event for the kids.