Council Bluffs , IA – The Special Olympics Iowa Southwest Area Track and Field Spring Games will be held Tuesday, April 16 at the Iowa Western Community College track complex in Council Bluffs. “We are thrilled to have 370 athletes participating in the competition this year,” said SOIA Southwest Area Assistant Director Will Schafer.
The athletes range in age from 8 to 80 and represent Carroll, Crawford, Freemont, Harrison, Mills, Shelby and Pottawattamie counties. They will compete in track and field events, tennis, softball and the turbo javelin throw, developmental events and wheelchair races.
Ms. Iowa United States 2013 Kayla Helget will be the keynote speaker during the Opening Ceremonies that begin at 9:45 a.m. The Girl Scouts “Spirit of Nebraska” Honor Guard will present the colors and one of their members will sing the national anthem.
“Special Olympics brings out the champion in all of us, and this event is the perfect example of hundreds of people making this day a success for our athletes,” said Schafer. “Iowa Western Community College has played a vital role in keeping our games going year after year. They provide not only the venue for the competition, but also hundreds of volunteers.”
More than 230 volunteers representing various schools and student councils will volunteer on April 16 and include: Harlan Community and Shelby County Catholic Schools, IKM Manning Schools, Lewis Central Schools, Sidney Community Schools, St. Albert Catholic High School, and South Page Schools. Employees of the Union Pacific Railroad and members of the West End Optimist Club of Council Bluffs will also volunteer at the event.
First place winners at the Spring Games will compete at the Special Olympics Iowa State Summer Games May 23-25 at Iowa State University in Ames. The Summer Games are one of seven statewide competitions held in various locations during the year. Nearly 3,000 athletes from across Iowa compete at the Summer Games.
Special Olympics Iowa is a nonprofit organization serving Iowans with intellectual disabilities since 1968. SOIA provides year-round training and competitions in 23 Olympic-type sports for nearly 11,000 athletes and Unified Sports partners representing each of Iowa’s 99 counties.