About 275 Abilene athletes and 23 athletes from surrounding counties participated in the Area 14 Special Olympic Texas games on campus Saturday.
All of the participants competed in track and field events at Elmer Gray Stadium with the goal of earning a spot in the statewide summer games on May 26-29 in Arlington.
The events included high jump, long jump, mini javelin, shot put, softball throw, standing long jump, tennis ball throw, wheel chair races, assisted walks, distance runs, distance walks, unified pentathlon and the 4x100m relay. Athletes Ann Young and Steve West were honored during the Opening Ceremony for their 27-year involvement with SOTX. Both have competed with the Abilene Tigers, one of the various teams from Area 14 during that time.
SOTX is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides opportunities for more than 55,200 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to help them unlock their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship.
Area 14 consists of 24 counties from around the Big Country including Taylor and Coleman counties. From the 300 athletes in the Area 14 competition, 54 qualified to compete in Arlington at the end of the month.
For more information about the organization and the event or to donate, you can visit the SOTX website.