LAURINBURG — Athletes involved with Scotland County Special Olympics will compete in various track and field events, putting their best feet — and arms — forward in running, jumping, and throwing events.
Opening ceremonies will begin at today at 9:30 a.m.at Scotland High School’s Pate Stadium.
There will be a parade of competitors — aged 8 to 21 — lining up with banners representing the schools they attend. The games will be from 10 a.m. until noon.
The students will then have lunch before returning to their respective schools.
Special Olympics board member and volunteer David Kang said JROTC will present colors. A Color Guard as well as the high school Drum Line will also participate.
Scotland High School Chorus will sing the national anthem. Some of the clubs from the school will also be volunteering throughout the day.
Carol Nichols, Special Olympics coordinator, said there are 145 athletes and 240 volunteers this year. Medals will be given throughout the day at each event location. There will not be a special medal ceremony.
Nichols said Scotland County has been involved in Special Olympics for more than 20 years. She has been the coordinator for the past eight years. To her the events have stayed the same during the past eight years but what has changed is the number of volunteers.
“I had no problem getting 240 volunteers to come out on a Tuesday,” she said. “Once you come out and work with these athletes your heart is touched and you want to come back.”
The public is invited to come out and support the athletes.
There will be field and track events all day including relay races, running and shot put throws.
There will also be Olympic Village where the athletes will be able to go to enjoy some entertainment and participate in arts and crafts. Food will also be served under the tents.
This year, students 5 to 7 years old will be participating in separate games. Nichols said they are future special Olympians. It will give them an opportunity to see what happens at the event.
Maria D. Grandy can be reached at 910-506-3171.