In addition to school-day sports and whole-school involvement, having young students participate is an important part of the Schools Partnership Program. Through the Young Athletes Program, Special Olympics introduces children between ages of 2 and 7 to the world of sport. Galena High School – with support form Special Olympics Nevada and the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada – recently organized a terrific Young Athletes Day!
Six young athletes participated with the support of 14 general-education students. The students put together multiple activities that were very hands-on and fun! The goal was to get the young athletes interested in and learn about track & field. The general education students guided the young athletes through the 25-meter dash, long jump and shot put. These volunteers were so engaging with the athletes as they went through the activities with them. It was a fun-filled day, and everyone seemed to get a lot out of the event!
The atmosphere of this Young Athletes Day was very positive and energetic! At the beginning, it took some of the athletes a little while to adjust to the new activities. But once the athletes got comfortable with the day and the volunteers, they started participating in the activities without any convincing!
It was great to see the wonderful interactions between athletes and volunteers. The athletes did need assistance, and our volunteers were very good about providing that for them. The parents also had some interaction, which was awesome! Young Athletes Days are really for everyone to participate and enjoy this amazing event that was planned. We’ve already heard positive reviews and that the athletes are already looking forward to the next event!
This was the first Young Athletes Day we’ve had in Northern Nevada, and it was terrific! Special Olympics is grateful to the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada for this new partnership. We look forward to involving the community and thank Galena High School for hosting! The athletes learned a lot and had a blast at our inaugural event thanks to the support from the parents and volunteers! The program is off to a great start and we’re all excited about the next events!