Great feats at Olympics
Kids from special needs schools and units throughout Auckland came together to celebrate their athletic prowess at the Special Olympics Counties Manukau Secondary Schools Athletics Ribbon Day.
‘‘It’s a celebration for these guys to get together and compete with like-minded people,’’ organiser Dave Beattie says.
‘‘You see runners and throwers perform outstanding feats and you’ll wonder what their impairment is.’’
The Special Olympics movement was started by Eunice Kennedy Schriver in 1968 and offers those with intellectual disabilities the chance to partake in athletic pursuits that they are so often excluded from.
The atmosphere is one of camaraderie and friendly competition, where the athletes cheer as loudly for opposing schools as they do for their own.
Last year Caitlin Mclaren from Papakura High School could only enter the walking races. Yet with a lot of hard work she not only competed in a running race this time around, but won. ‘‘It’s awesome because I get to compete with my family,’’ she says.
Aidan Garlick of Pakuranga College competes in the javelin at the Special Olympics Counties Manukau Secondary Schools Athletics Ribbon Day last week.
Afterburners on: Hannah-rose Morris of Botany Downs Secondary College charges ahead in the 50m walk.
Good arm: Howick College’s Gursimran Varaich winds up in the softball throw.