WHEELING, W.Va., April 18, 2016— More than 100 local athletes will compete in running, walking, track and field, swimming and bocce at the West Virginia Area I Special Olympics – an event held at Wheeling Jesuit University for the last 16 years.
Students from Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Monongahela and Ohio counties in West Virginia make up ‘Area I’ in the state.
Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 32 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. Special Olympics currently serves 3.7 million athletes, ages eight years and above, in more than 170 countries.
Opening ceremonies for the event will begin at 12:30 p.m. with a parade of athletes and the inspirational carrying of the torch on the outdoor track. Activities will start at 1 p.m., with the day’s events concluding at 4 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony.
“We are always delighted to see the excitement expressed in students as they showcase their athletic abilities in various events. This is truly a community effort all around, and Wheeling Jesuit is proud to play a major role when it comes to serving others,” said Colleen Ryan Mayrand, director of Wheeling Jesuit’s Service for Social Action Center.
Hundreds of Wheeling Jesuit University student-athletes will also volunteer their time, and be assigned a special Olympic athlete for the afternoon to help them with the day’s activities. Additionally, WJU student-athletes will offer free clinics for students between activities.
Also this year, dancing, arts and crafts and photo opportunities with WJU's mascot Iggy will take place in the McDonough Center.
Lunch will be served to all participants sponsored by the Wheeling Kiwanis Club, one club of many in the Kiwanis International family that inspires and engages men, women, youth, corporations, other nonprofits, partners and communities to make the world a better place for children to thrive. Belonging to Kiwanis means being part of a massive force for positive change in the world.
Those wishing to volunteer need to show up by 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event. Orientation and registration will take place in the lobby of the Alma Grace McDonough Center.
This event is free and open to the public. For additional information or to volunteer, contact the WJU Service for Social Action Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-243-8728.