Students Participate in Special Olympics


Rebecca Cade, writer

Huntsville High School hosted the annual Special Olympics competition on Fri., March 8th. Diboll, Willis, Huntsville, New Waverly and Magnolia competed in the event with the help of volunteers, students, staff and sports representatives.

“I could see the pure joy they got out of running down the track in front of everyone,” high school principal William Roberts said. “This is my first year working at Huntsville High School, so this is my first year to be able to enjoy it and it’s always an incredible event to watch.”

The event was supported by several athletic organizations and clubs. Business Professionals of America, BPA, awarded competitors with medals when they won, and the football and baseball teams helped coordinate the events.

“I was happy to see so many people come together to support the many teams that competed in the event,” director of special education Kelly Pieterse said. “I think our image within the school and the community is one of positivity and we all want to do what’s right for all children, so our hearts and our doors are always open.”

Staff and Administration were present to help support the students while volunteers set up the events and recorded data.

“Because I work with these kids, I was assigned to a student and we support them throughout the event,” instructional assistant Cole explains. “It’s been good, I enjoy working with the kids and I love working the Special Olympics and our program.”

Events such as 50 to 100-meter runs, 100-meter wheelchair race, assisted walks, tennis ball throws and long jumps were all a part of the program to test distance, stamina and pace.

“I’ve been doing this for three and a half years, we award the medals. We cheer for them and support them. It’s been great and we are basically family with the BPA team,” BPA member Josshelinne Hernandez said.

The Special Olympics allowed the families of athletes to enjoy and support their children.

“I really enjoy seeing everyone have such a great time at Special Olympics,” superintendent Scott Sheppard said. “Giving all kids opportunity is the mission of our school system, and I am so proud of our district and community for putting on such an amazing Special Olympics for the entire Huntsville area.”