Wednesday, March 13, 2013
They came. They competed. And they walked off the field as champions.
On Friday, the annual Spring Special Olympics Track and Field Day sponsored by the Berkeley County School District rocked the house at the track at Bonner Stadium at Berkeley High School.
The annual track and field meet featured more than 150 athletes from six county high schools and three middle schools and 130 student volunteers. Athletes competed in a variety of track and field events such as the 50-meter and 100-meter dashes, the softball throw, a soccer goal kick skills event, and a jump house for the athletes’ entertainment.
New to the meet was a special high school relay race featuring student volunteers and the competing athletes. Each member of the team ran a full lap around the track and handed the baton to his or her teammate.
“The kids always feel so special that the day is for them and that they get mentioned in the newspaper,” said event coordinator Maria Davis, a BHS Special Education teacher. “Berkeley High School was thrilled to host this event again this year.”
Davis said each athlete had been training for weeks, and many of them beat their goal time in the running and distance in the softball throw competitions.
“It is always amazing to see all of the athletes excited about their success and getting to share their success,” she said. “We are so thankful to the community for supporting these athletes by volunteering time or materials to help make the day a success.”
When the ancient Greeks first conceived the idea of an Olympics, the gathering of their country’s greatest champions, this is what they had in mind, spirited competition for the sake of competition and camaraderie where every athlete is a champion.
“I am having the time of my life,” said William Capps, 17-year old Timberland athlete who competed in the 100-meter dash and the softball throw. “I can’t believe I ran that far.”
According to a BCSD release, the games are funded by the school district and a Special Olympics Project UNIFY grant, which is issued by the U.S. Department of Education in combination with Special Olympics North America.
For more Special Olympics coverage see Sports.