“Let me win, but if I cannot, let me brave in the attempt.”
These words rang true at the sixth annual Special Olympics Area P event held on Wednesday at Delaware Valley High School, as more than 350 athletes competed in track and field, swimming, and weight lifting competitions held throughout the day.
Jordey Lamar, a senior at Paupack, was all smiles waiting in between events as he was competing in the softball throw and the 50 meter run.
“The events are a lot of fun, the food is great, and I get to meet new people,” said Jordey.
“A lot of these kids don’t get the chance to get out to these type of events, and this type of social interaction,” said Lenny Spoor, multiple disabilities teacher in the Paupack school district.
“To come down here and have this event, where they get to participate, and get a medal, is a whole different environment for them.
“It’s a sense of accomplishment. They meet people they don’t normally get to meet, and it’s a great day. DV does a great job with this and every year it’s gets better and better.”
The day started off with a Parade of Champions and was followed by the National Anthem , the welcome address by Dr. Candis Finan, Superintendent of Delaware Valley School District, an explanation of the events, the lighting of the torch, and the Special Olympics Oath that was read by Max Alvarez of DV.
Then the excitement, and smiles came pouring though in the events happening in the pool, on the track, and in the weight room.
“Today’s event is a spectacular event and it is our sixth year here at Delaware Valley,” said Eric Kudrich, co-manager of Special Olympics Area P.
“We invite school districts and special needs people from all over Wayne and Pike Counties.”
With more than 370 athletes competing, the numbers are going up each year, and the event gets bigger and better, with many of the competitors waiting for this special day.
“I had one little guy come up to me and tell me that he has been waiting for this all year, since last year, but you can’t put a value on this,” said Kudrich.
“Just look at all of these happy faces. These kids practice their skills, develop coordination, develop social skills, and some of them learn lifelong skills through sports that they would never had the chance to play before at the varsity level.”
It was hard to find a face without a smile, as ribbons and medals were being collected and congratulatory hugs were being dished out by the handfuls.
Everyone went home with some hardware, new memories, and new friends from the event.
Page 2 of 2 - “We’re expanding and the ultimate goal is to have activities and sports all year long, so they can be continually active. It’s a great day,” Kudrich said.
“It’s all volunteer and there is never a cost to the families.”
Though there were plenty of volunteers on hand to help make the day run smooth, there is always room for more, and sponsors and donations are always welcomed with open arms.
To become a volunteer or sponsor, or to make a donation please contact Eric Kudrich at 570-296-1850, ext. 7137.