Vernon Parish hosts Special Olympic games for over 400 students
VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB) - If you need a reason to smile to end the work week, a special group of students in Central Louisiana will certainly help provide that.
Over 400 students from 18 different schools in Vernon Parish competed on Friday in the Special Olympics at Rosepine High School.
“This is their way to shine,” said Kelly Kaiama Goodwin, the coordinator for the event. “It’s their way to meet their challenges physically, mentally and emotionally. You’ve never been to an athletic event if you’ve never been to a Special Olympics event.”
Kids of all ages and all abilities went for the gold in a variety of events including the softball throw, the long jump and sprint challenges. Everyone was able to participate and receive medals while being cheered on by the entire community.
“We get out here and show our abilities,” said Leslie Ortiz, the Vernon Parish Special Education Director. “This is something we have been practicing all year long. This is our state playoffs, so we got the cheerleaders involved and the community. This makes my heart smile.”
The event kicked off with the Law Enforcement Torch Run while the athletes showed off their school pride around the track. Just like the Summer and Winter Olympics, the athletes train year-round for the event. The volunteer workers said they started getting ready this week for the parish-wide Special Olympics next year.
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