Special needs kids compete at track and field event

Published 4:45 pm Friday, March 30, 2018

Kids of all ages participated in the Special Olympics at Bainbridge High School Friday morning.

The kids ranged in age, but all got to participate in the 100 yard dash, 50 yard dash, long jump, and softball throw as part of their sanctioned events. During their time in between events, the kids got to play free games such as, corn hole, bocce ball, and soccer kick. However, Director Wanda Thomas said all the kids’ favorite is the 100-yard dash.

Teachers and students from the school system all volunteer to make this event possible. Each group of children has four-six volunteers in their group to encourage and support them in all of their activities for the day.

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Faith Taunton is one of those volunteers. Taunton has volunteered for four years and helps daily in the special education program at the high school.  She said it is one of her favorite programs to be a part of.

“I think the Special Olympics helps boost the kids confidence and be normal for a day,” she said. “It helps them grow and be able to do whatever they put their mind to.”

Amia Scott’s grandparents were in attendance and they agreed with Taunton. They think it is a great opportunity for the kids to get to participate in sports they wouldn’t normally get to at school.

They have been coming to the Special Olympics for a couple years and they said they have seen Amia grow through the years.

“She does get excited,” Susan Scott said. “It’s kind of a slow build, but once she gets here she’s excited.”

One of the things the children get most excited by is getting escorted into the Olympics by the County Sheriff’s Office. Thomas said the kids love all the lights and sirens and knowing it’s for them.

Thomas was thankful for the officers and the local businesses this morning that stood out on the street waving at the kids and cheering for them, even during the nasty weather. She said she was very pleased with the turnout, considering everything going on.

All of the children were awarded ribbons after the events and their faces lit up. Thomas said she wishes the community could see what they see.

“Until you experience it, you don’t really know what it means to see these kids like this,” she said.

Thomas invites anyone who would like to help next year to volunteer. She said she knows the more help the Special Olympics has, the better they can make it for the kids.