(Little Rock, Ark.) – Nearly 500 students competed in the Special Olympics spring games held at Mills High School on Wednesday, April 3. Children from 20 schools across Lonoke and Pulaski counties spent the day participating in various athletic events in hopes of winning a ribbon or medal.
Greg Lindsey, a special education para at Mills High School said it’s honor for Mills High School to host an event of such magnitude.
“This is a tremendous occasion for us to host this at Mills High School,” says Lindsey. “It makes my day because I spend every day training athletes. And it’s an honor for my personal students to be part of the host team.”
Some of the event activities include a variety of track events (wheelchair race, 50m run, 100m Walk, 100m Run, 200m Run and a 4x100m Relay) for both male and female teams. There was also a softball throw, tennis ball throw, long jump and more. Athletes were awarded based on their ability not necessarily on their final results on the field.
Special Olympics Arkansas Area 5 director, Kara Newman, said it was quite convenient to have such accommodating facilities so that all events could be held so close together throughout the day. The event is managed by a core group of volunteers. Newman says there are only a few employees of Special Olympics Arkansas who work the event, the rest of the crew is made up entirely of volunteers.
“It’s amazing to see how hard these volunteers work,” Newmain said. “We just take our day and put in the time to give back to these kids. It’s a lot of fun.”
Students from Pulaski County Special School District, Little Rock, School District, North Little Rock School District, Cabot School District and an handful of independent schools participated in the spring games. There were five schools with teams from PCSSD - Mills High School, Maumelle High School, Robinson High School, Maumelle Middle School and Landmark Elementary. Other schools in attendance include Mcclellan High School, Central High School, Stevens Elementary, North Little Rock High School, North Little Rock Middle School, Cabot High School, Cabot Middle School South, Cabot Middle School North, Easter Seals Academy, Access Academy Schools, Pathfinder, Arkansas School for the Deaf, Arkansas School for the Blind, and Arkansas Enterprise for the Developmental Disability.
Winners of the spring games have the opportunity compete at the state level at the Summer Games. That event will be held May 23 - 25 at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.