Students complete 10-week Special Olympics program

From staff reports
Posted 12/31/21

A recent Harnett County Special Olympics program included 10 weeks of fitness training and involved students throughout the county.

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Students complete 10-week Special Olympics program

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The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

In doing so, it gives them the opportunity to “develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”

Like other programs, Harnett County Special Olympics has faced its share of challenges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“This mission has been tough to accomplish with Special Olympics Harnett County the last two years due to COVID,” said local coordinator Holly Watt.

One program recently included 10 weeks of fitness training and involved students throughout the county.

“This fall, in conjunction with Special Olympics North Carolina and the Unified Champion Schools program, all Harnett County Schools had the opportunity to participate in the PartnerUp/PowerUp Virtual program,” Watt said.

“I had 13 schools sign up to participate in October, totaling 274 athletes and 52 unified partners (individuals without disabilities),” she said. “SONC Harnett County provided fitness T-shirts, playbooks, fitness bags, and equipment needed to carry out the fitness tasks in the book.

“We saw great things on the weekly Zooms with the elementary, middle, and high schools,” Watt explained. “I couldn’t have done it without the support from SONC office and the individual donors and corporate sponsors around Harnett County that continue to support our program monetarily.”

Seven schools continued the program for three weeks and three schools tracked their exercise the entire 10 weeks.

A $100 food voucher from SONC Unified Champion Schools was the incentive for exercising the full 10 weeks.

Harnett Central, Western Harnett and Triton high schools were the winners.

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