By Mariahrose Manell
Cougar News Blog
Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries.
Special Olympics has been around since 1968 and offers alpine skiing, swimming, track and field, and figure skating. Cactus Canyon’s kids will be participating in bowling and basketball. Coach Desirae Davis has helped before, but this is her first year as a coach.
“This will be my first year as a coach, but I volunteered last year,” said special education teacher Desirae Davis.
The mission for Special Olympics is so that they provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Enias Victorio, a seventh grade student from Cactus Canyon, participated and won two medals last year, a gold and a silver medal.
“Enias is excited and looking forward to competing with his classmates and meeting new athletes this year. He enjoys basketball, bowling and track and a variety of events that are offered through the year,” said his mother, Celia Victorio.
After school three to four times a week the students are practicing for the basketball competition, and during October they will go to the bowling alley three times. It is an inspiring competition and people should encourage anyone who can come and support Cactus Canyon students.
“The athletes get to be involved in sports at their levels, develop social skills, and be included in the community,” says Davis. “I continue this program because it provides opportunities for our athletes to learn those skills.”