JAMESTOWN – An annual tradition returned to Jamestown Tuesday, honoring special education students from across Chautauqua County.
Athletes from school districts all across the county met at Jefferson Middle School on Tuesday morning to compete in the special olympics.
A ceremony kicked off the games, honoring athletes with the Katie Campbell Award, an award given to students who have been deemed “most improved” by their teachers.
Afterwards, athletes took to the field to compete in many different events, including long jump, racing, and a softball throw.
The special olympics is much more than fun and games to the students and parents. The event celebrates those with developmental and physical disabilities, giving them opportunities, they normally wouldn’t have, for example, a student in a wheelchair having the chance to throw a shot-put.
The event also gives their families a chance to celebrate their children. Grandparents of a Southwestern Central School student spoke to WNY News Now about the event, and broke down in tears when talking about the opportunities this event creates.
Specifically, they are overjoyed that their grandchild is not only able to be highlighted in such a positive way, but be surrounded by others from across our area who share similar experiences.
In addition, several dozen volunteers also turned out to help today, ranging from parents, to teachers, to students, to community members from across the county, lending a hand to help out.
Athletes were able to end the day with lunch provided by the volunteers at the event and celebrate their triumphs with family and friends, surrounded by unconditional love and support.