Morgan County’s Special Olympics program is back and better than ever. After a year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the program has been recertified and is conducting multiple events this year.

Morgan County’s Special Olympics program is spreading out games and competitions for special needs students, kicking off the season with bowling.

Last week, Morgan County’s Special Olympians trekked to Athens’ Showtime Bowling Center for a bowling competition after three weeks of training for the game. The top three students, Everett Marsh, James Binion, and Reese Gossett, received Special Olympic ribbons after the competition.

“This was our first local bowling competition. Our students really enjoyed themselves and were sad that our four-week bowling session had come to an end,” said Noelle Brownlee, special needs teacher in Morgan County.

“We handed out first, second and third place ribbons to our Olympians in each lane. We had a total of six lanes with anywhere from five to seven on each lane. At this time none of our students are planning to go to state games in bowling. But as we move along, we are hoping to send a few next year.”

While bowling has come to an end, the special needs program will take on basketball next after the holiday break. Morgan County’s special Olympians will head to the court to learn the game.

“We are planning to offer our special Olympians a basketball skills event that day teaching them Basketball skills such as dribbling, passing, and shooting,” said Brownlee.

The Special Olympics program will culminate in April with the traditional track and field day at Morgan County County High School’s football stadium.

“This will be our track and field event that will take place in the stadium. The students will be competing in the 50 yard dash, 100 yard dash and softball throw,” said Brownlee.

Morgan County’s special needs teachers and volunteers have partnered with community organizations, businesses and volunteers to ensure special needs students have the opportunity to play and compete in a safe environment.

“We’d like to thank the community for coming out and supporting us,” said Brownlee, who helped organize a BBQ dinner to raise money for the bowling program. “Our community has continued to bless this program and support us and I am just thankful to be a part of such a wonderful program.”

To support Morgan County’s Special Olympics program, visit the Morgan County Special Olympics Facebook page to follow events and to volunteer.

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