No variable specified
Special Olympics set Friday at New Manchester High School
by Bill Baldowski
April 02, 2014 05:35 PM | 1952 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Bill Baldowski
Participants, from left, Peyton Young, 9, son of Justin and Angela Young, Angel Polk, 6, daughter of Jennifer Polk, and Matthew Morris, 9, son of Steven and Maria Morris, stand with Special Olympics Coordinator Kimberly Waldrop.
Staff / Bill Baldowski Participants, from left, Peyton Young, 9, son of Justin and Angela Young, Angel Polk, 6, daughter of Jennifer Polk, and Matthew Morris, 9, son of Steven and Maria Morris, stand with Special Olympics Coordinator Kimberly Waldrop.
slideshow
More than 350 athletes from across Douglas County will gather at New Manchester High School Friday to test their athletic skills in a light, but still competitive, atmosphere.

Although there are no region or state championship trophies at stake, the athletes will compete to achieve larger, more personal goals such as increased self-esteem, enhanced personal pride and the joy of success regardless of what place one finishes, said Special Olympics coordinator Kimberly Waldrop.

This marks the 12th consecutive Douglas County Special Olympics in which Waldrop, an educational evaluator with the Douglas County School System, has been involved.

She said it means as much to her and others coordinating the event as it does for the special needs participants, their parents and teachers.

“This is my favorite day of the entire school year,” Waldrop said. “This is the day we get to see these students and, in some cases, adults, with special needs perform and get excited about their achievements.”

The Special Olympics events include a 100- and 200-meter dash as well as a softball throw and other events.

“We even have a 50-yard walk for youngsters who cannot run,” Waldrop said.

The athletes range in age from 3 years to adulthood.

Although each Special Olympics athlete is a winner and will take home a ribbon for taking part, those finishing in the top five places for each event will take home an additional ribbon signifying a top five finish.

“The Special Olympics is not so much how well those taking part in a certain event do but rather it gives the participants the opportunity to socialize with their teachers and peers,” Waldrop said. “They can experience a day in which they can celebrate their achievements with others.”

Waldrop said the number of those watching the event has increased each year as Douglas County Special Olympics continues to build good relationships within the community.

Natalie Taylor, a physical education teacher at New Manchester High School who will assist the athletes during competitions, said it is during these events where special needs youngsters “get to shine.”

“This is the one day they can show off their skills, regardless of the level at which those skills lie,” Taylor said.

Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides