Special Olympics race on campus


It was a day of fun for the community and the campus when Special Olympics Louisiana held the Northeast Area Fall Sports Day at ULM Friday morning.
Friday’s event was a field day of sorts for attendees from the Special Olympics. Volunteers woke up bright and early to have everything ready at 8 a.m. for the kids.
“It’s a chance for those with special needs to get out and do things that they normally wouldn’t be able to do. It’s a gathering of great friends who just come out to do different activities,” said Kim Stewart, an elementary school teacher.
Ace the Warhawk and other members of ULM’s spirit groups were there to welcome the campus’s guests and help with the games.
Among the games played during the event, flag football was one of the favorites, but dancing and singing were the main attractions.
The goal of the event is to get attendees active, so there were a lot of different activities for both attendees and volunteers to participate in together.
According to their website, the mission of Special Olympics Louisiana is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for people with intellectual disabilities who wish to participate.
Kimber Hanchey, the team management director for the area’s Special Olympics, has been working with Special Olympics Louisiana for almost three years and said it has been extremely rewarding to work for them just because of the kids.
“To see these kids out here who have every reason not smile, to be bitter, to be angry but they’re not. They enjoy life they enjoy their day despite their obstacles and limitations,” Hanchey said.
Christopher Johnson, a sophomore pre-radiological technology major, was a first timer at the event. According to Johnson, his day volunteering for the Special Olympics was a life changer.
“I liked being able to let myself go and be a kid again and have fun with them. It’s my first time working this event, and I had so much fun,” Johnson said.
Like Johnson, there were a multitude of student volunteers at the event. Everybody was all smiles as the kids played and danced the morning away.
Aside from the games, prizes were raffled off, and awards were given to both attendees and volunteers.
Special Olympics Louisiana continues to serve the community and help people of special needs become more active and a friendly and safe environment.