Athletes shine at Special Olympics

Christine June
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***The 22nd Annual Special Olympics Spring Games 2005 are Wednesday at the German Police Academy in Enkenbach-Alsenborn.

Special Olympics are an international program of athletic competition for children and adults with special needs it comes to the KMC each year courtesy of the 415th Base Support Battalion.

This is the seventh year that the German Police Academy has co-hosted the event.

The games start at 9 a.m. with the Parade of Athletes. Opening Ceremonies will begin at about 9:40 a.m. and then move on to seven competitive games for ages 8 and older, and 12 non-competitive games for ages 5 to 7.
Competitive games include tennis, track and field, badminton, soccer, basketball, softball and volleyball. Non-competitive games include treasure hunt, parachute, obstacle course and ring toss.

Awards presentations are scheduled for 2 p.m. with the closing ceremonies to begin around 2:40 p.m.

About 1,300 KMC members have volunteered, and 750 athletes from 29 German and 21 American schools are participating in this year’s event, said Tasha R. Everett, 415th BSB Special Olympics coordinator.

“Volunteering at the Special Olympics is a good way to build your communication and your community bond with the Germans,” said Mrs. Everett.

The set up of the games will begin 8 a.m. Monday, and the tear down will start immediately after the closing ceremonies, according to Mrs. Everett.
Buddies are paired with athletes and help them throughout the day, going to events and to lunch. Meals will be provided free to athletes and their buddies.
“Buddies are kind of a personal cheerleader for their athletes for the day,” said Mrs. Everett. “Buddies participate in what their athletes are going through that they usually don’t experience on a normal day.”

There’s no need to worry about communication problems with the German athletes said Mrs. Everett.

“We have more than 50 translators who will be station in certain areas as well as floating around in case of any communication difficulties,” she said.
For more information, call Mrs. Everett at 489-8359 or 0631-536-8359.