Shelbyville Central High School's Leo Club is proud to be joining special education students at upcoming Special Olympics events. The organization has been around since 1968, and students from all over the country participate in the events. It has given people with physical and intellectual disabilities the chance to participate and compete in sporting events. The point of it all is not about winning or losing, it is about simply getting them to be brave enough to try.
The Special Olympics event that our Leo Club has volunteered to help with will be held in Tullahoma, as it has been every year, and it's such a great event because it gives those students a chance to increase physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and gain achievement. It also helps these students develop skills and friendship between them and their friends and family.
The two leaders who are in charge of this event are Maureen Garrett, the head of Leo Club, and Christle Price, special education teacher and Special Olympic coach for area 13. Garrett says that her main goal for doing this is to increase awareness that our school does have special education students in it and her favorite part is to see her Leo Club students cheer them on. Price says she loves to watch all of the kids have fun and get a chance to experience how it feels to accomplish things. Her favorite part is to see them get their ribbons and medals for all their hard work and participation.
There are many types of challenges that are held such as a softball throw, a long jump, volleyball, and a running challenge. Even all the kids in wheel chairs get to participate by having someone push them to the finish line. Also, in the morning there is a torch that gets carried all the way from Manchester and the students get to light it. They have a parade as well along with a special prayer that they all say. It is so important to give those students a chance to achieve these goals and to simply allow them to have fun and interact with each other and our very own Leo Club is helping to make that happen. The Special Olympics' volleyball tournament was held last Friday and the track and field event will be held on April 17th.
-- Alli Kirkman is a junior at Shelbyville Central High School.