September 27th, 2019
Special Olympics return to the field
THURS. | 5-28-23 | NEWS
The annual Special Olympics competition was held at Rose Thursday, April 20, and Friday, April 21. This is the first time a county wide Special Olympics has been held since 2019.
Special Olympics is a nationwide event, but Rose hosts the event for Pitt County. The competition was split between two days. Elementary students participated on Thursday and middle and high school students on Friday. They do many events during Special Olympics.
“They do softball toss, sprinting races, long jump [and] they do a lot of different length races,” Dream Team advisor Amanda Davis said. “For our wheelchair bound students, they do a football toss through a hulla hoop [and] they do a ring toss.”
Both Dream Team, a club for student athletes, and Student Government Association (SGA) helped with the competition this year.
“One of the things we’ve done over the years is we’ve gotten very very involved not just with our community but with our school Special Olympics,” SGA advisor Luisa Haynes said.
Photo by Casey Foeller
The competition has been cancelled the last three years due to COVID-19.
“I know the majority of it is because so many EC children have a lot of health issues and they did not want to have to worry about them getting sick,” Davis said.
The student volunteers helped out during the competition in many ways.
“It shows all the positivity of inclusion and I love it most, getting to see my students who don’t always interact with EC students, getting to interact with them and getting to know them and seeing their friendships that they make,” Davis said.
Special Olympics gives EC students a chance to compete and this is not always an available opportunity for them.
“They don’t really get to compete in anything else,” Davis said. “Especially at the young age, most of them can’t compete in sports and athletics [and} there are some rec things within the county and the city that they can join, but this is one huge event that recognizes all special olympians.”
Haynes believes that Special Olympics is an important event for all involved.
“Special olympics is, I would say, buddies for life [because] you focus on the child’s ability, it's not a disability,” Haynes said. “We are all different, we all learn different, we all acquire knowledge different so we just have to work a little different, and Special Olympics gives every child the opportunity to shine.”