Houston students stake part in Special Olympics Summer Games

awoolen@macon.comApril 3, 2013 

BONAIRE -- Nearly 200 Houston County students participated in the Special Olympics Summer Games Thursday and Friday at Bonaire Middle School.

The children from elementary to high school competed in track and field events including softball toss, volleyball and wheelchair events.

“All of the coaches from the high schools and the principals come out,” said Christy Jones, chairwoman of the local committee for Special Olympics.

She is also the orthopedic impaired teacher for the county.

“That’s the thing that makes these games so awesome is the whole school community,” Jones said.

The two days give students the ability to compete just like their peers.

Their peers also were at the football field cheering them on and helping run the event.

“They are building skills and being healthy and moving,” Jones said.

Rebecca Martin had just finished her 50-meter walk and was a bit tired.

“I need a drink,” the ninth-grader at Warner Robins High School said.

She has been competing in the Special Olympics since she was in elementary school, about six years.

“Walking is the best one,” Martin said.

Tacoreyan Allen, a seventh-grader, competed in the running events.

“It’s fun to do,” the 15-year-old from Perry Middle School said.

Larissa Beecher, a teacher at Bonaire Elementary School, was helping Friday during the middle and high school day.

“It gives them an opportunity to shine,” she said.

Six weeks before the event, the students in her class choose which event to participate in.

They spent time during physical education and in class getting ready.

When her students practice, they are excited about the day.

“They want to win first place and get awards,” Beecher said.

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