Archive for the ‘Special Olympics’ Category

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.”

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By Victoria Montiel
Cougar News Blog

For the Life Skills students, it’s not just about learning in the classrooms or about using netbooks. They’re training for the Special Olympics.
The students in Peggy Mejia’s class have been practicing at Brunswick Lanes on Broadway and Ellsworth in Mesa as they prepare for an upcoming competition.
“We are practicing for Special Olympics because we have a tournament coming up,” Mejia said.
The students were able to choose between a lot of different events, but picked bowling because they really like it. It doesn’t really seem like they’re in a competition, they’re just having fun.
“We chose bowling because we enjoyed it last year,” Mejia explained.
The students benefit socially by being a team and because they get to see their high school and elementary school friends. At the tournaments, they get to meet new friends.
The students aren’t disappointed if they lose because the Special Olympics Creed is, “Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt.” The goal is just to have fun and build self-esteem.

From left to right are Cieanna Hill, Colton Johnson, Darius Osborne, Austin Greyeagle, and Cassie Edwards.

By Tapainga Gutierrez
Staff writer

The Special Olympics are all about kids who are unique in their own way and giving those kids a chance to compete and make friends.
Students in Peggy Mejia’s Life Skills class got a chance to show off their skills and talents at the state basketball competition March 24 at Red Mountain High School in Mesa.
Five students earned medals and ribbons for their efforts. Darius Osborne and Colton Johnson received gold medals, Austin Greyeagle and Cassie Edwards earned silver medals, and Cieanna Hill won a fourth-place ribbon.
“I liked it because it is really fun to play and I really love to dribble,” said Edwards.
Johnson and Edwards they had a good time at the games and were happy when they got their medals.
“The thing I liked most about the Special Olympics is shooting the basketball,” said Johnson.
Teacher and coach Peggy Mejia had her students practicing the games in the days leading up to the contest and said the competitors did even better than they did in their preparation.
“I was very proud of my students who participated in Special Olympics because they all did better on their basketball skills than they did at practice sessions,” she said. “We practiced every day at school.”