Special Olympics set for March 1st in Picayune
Registration is currently underway for the 36th annual special Olympics of Pearl River County.
The event, which is hosted by the Kiwanis Club of the greater Picayune Area, will be held at the Picayune Memorial High School football stadium on March 1 at 9 a.m.
Children with disabilities from Picayune, Pearl River Central and Poplarville school districts take part in the special day, as well as adults from Bridgeway apartments, ARC of Pearl River County, Brandi’s Hope and Millcreek of Magee.
According to SpecialOlympics.org the Special Olympics provide a community experience that empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities, reinforces inclusions and reduces bullying and exclusion, through out communities.
Athletes of all ability levels are encouraged to participate in the Special Olympics. Competitions are structured so that athletes compete with other athletes of similar ability in equitable divisions. Participants are able to chose from several different track and field activities with available assistance, while friends and family cheer them on.
“The Special Olympics gives the special needs citizens a chance to get off the sidelines, it gives them an opportunity to be out on the field playing,” Kiwanis Vice President, Kenny McDonald said. “And it gives us an opportunity to not be on the field but to be on the sidelines cheering them on. To me thats what it is."
An opening ceremony will kick off the event which will include a parade around the field with all the participating athletes as well as the Picayune Memorial High School marching band, cheerleaders, and NJROTC. Concessions will be available, with hamburgers provided by Hardee’s in Picayune. Each participant will receive a T-shirt and bag before the event and and every athlete will be recognized for his/her performance at closing by being presented with an award.
This year, organizers are anticipating around 160 athletes to participate in the games. The Kiwanis Club is still in need of additional volunteers to put on the event and help athletes compete against each other.
To volunteer contact, contact Kiwanis via their face book page https://www.facebook.com/picayunekiwanisclub/ or contact any member of the Kiwanis Club.
Volunteers can also show up at 8:45 a.m. at the stadium on March 1 and speak with any Kiwanis member at the event (in red shirts with Kiwanis embroidered).