Special Olympics does not end when a person leaves high school. There is no “age out” limit for competing.
“These types of events are often life changing for the athletes and volunteers involved,” said Charlie Courville, Special Olympics director of outreach and area management for the Southeast Region.
But, Special Olympics is not just about competition. It also offers health, education leadership, family training and sports programs.
“One of the things that spurs (the start of this program) is that once (student athletes) get out of school, we kind of lose track of them being able to participate. We have a few parents (in St. Mary Parish) who want to gather those who have participated on the school level, which has a very high participation, and we want them to continue,” Courville said.
He added that the area parents offered to gather people who can form a team of older athletes to participate in track meets, softball teams, aquatics, bowling and flag football.
Representatives will be in attendance from the Special Olympics and from the Brittany Project, a non-profit organization with the goal of creating a recreational facility in St. Mary Parish for people, school age through adult, with all types of disabilities.
An informational and recruiting meeting will be held at 6 p.m. March 21 at the Knights of Columbus hall, 1215 First St., Patterson.
Anyone interested in allowing the athletes to practice at their facility is encouraged to attend the meeting as well.
Special Olympics is an international organization that offers year-round sports training and athletic competition for two million disabled children and adults in more than 150 countries. There is no cost to participate in Special Olympics.
For more information, visit Louisiana’s Special Olympics site at www.laso.org.