Atheletes Sought for Area III Special Olympics

Athletes should begin training now to prepare for a fun-filled day of games and activities during the annual Area III Special Olympics Track and Field Competitions scheduled for March 21st, 2015 at NASA Stennis Space Center.

To be eligible to compete, athletes must be at least eight years old (no upper age limit), be mentally handicapped, and have a current medical form on file with the Special Olympics. All eligible athletes are urged to plan now for this exciting event.

Track and field competitions are patterned on the World Olympics. Events include an opening ceremony and parade of athletes followed by competitions such as bocce ball, volleyball, wheelchair races, assisted walks, badminton, basketball, standing and running long jumps, shot put, and 50-, 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. Fun activities and entertainment will also be available.

The event, which draws athletes from Hancock, Harrison, Pearl River, and Stone counties, requires hundreds of volunteers and sponsors to make the day a success.

The mission of the Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic type sports for all mentally handicapped children and adults, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friends with their families, other Special Olympians, and the community. Through these experiences, Olympians gain confidence and build a positive self-image that carries over into the classroom, the home, the job, and the community.

Athletes may sign up through their school’s Special Education Office or by calling Katherine Clough, Area III Director, at 228-601-358-2305 or katherine.clough@st-francis.org. Additional information and the necessary paperwork can also be obtained through Clough. A cover letter and registration forms will be mailed soon.

Volunteers may register and more information can be found on the Area III website at: http://specialolympics.goldinc.com.

Due to the Real ID Act, attendees with driver’s licenses from non-compliant states must present a second form of ID such as a federal employee badge, passport or active military identification card. Non-compliant states/territories are: American Samoa, Arizona, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma and Washington.

This year’s event is coordinated by the Naval Research Lab at Stennis.

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