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Showcase, Sports

2016 Local Special Olympics was a Blast

The Lowndes High School Special Education Program participated in the Local Special Olympics,Thursday, March 3. The Local Special Olympics were held at Valdosta’s Freedom Park.

The Local Special Olympics started off with volunteer and teacher sign in at 9:30 a.m. At 10:00 a.m., the opening ceremonies were held. The 26 classes ranged from elementary to high school, and five local counties, Brooks, Cook, Lowndes, Tift and Berrien counties were called up and walked in a parade like manner. Then they were divided into groups and went to their events from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lunch was served at noon provided by the Valdosta Fire Department.

Special Education students from LeAnne Haworth and Cheryl McCauley’s class competed in events such as 50 meter dash, 100 meter dash, wheelchair 50 meter dash, standing long jump and running long jump. The competitors who placed first, second, third, and fourth recieved ribbons at every event. Between one event, Bryan Brown, one of McCauley’s students, was interviewed and filmed by the local news station WCTV 6. He starred in Thursday’s night March 3, 6 p.m. show screaming “I love Special Olympics!”

Over 120 volunteers including some LHS students from the Anchor Club, Interact Club and Special Education helpers were present at the Local Special Olympics. According to Tammy Crosby, Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority Area 15 Special Olympics Coordinator, this year’s volunteers were the most and the best. Many of the volunteers could be seen cheering and encouraging the competitors as they competed in their events.

The volunteers from LHS did more than just cheer the LHS Special Ed. students.

“In the past we were scrambling but not this year thanks to the volunteers. They came to Freedom Park early in the morning and set up a tent, brought coolers filled with cooled drinks and snacks for the competitors,” said Haworth.

Haworth also said that out of the eight years participating in the Local Special Olympics, this year was the most fun. Jose Nava, one of the competitors, agreed with her. His favorite part was running.

“I had a good time. I beat a Valdosta chick,” said Nava.