WJU Set to Host Special Olympics Games Sunday

Wheeling Jesuit University will again host the Area 1 Special Olympics at the new Bishop Schmitt Field from 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Volunteer registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Alma Grace McDonough Center.

According to Ohio County Special Olympics Coordinator Linda Cole, 125 athletes will participate this year. Area 1 represents Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Monongalia and Preston counties in West Virginia. Athletes will compete in a number of track and field and aquatic events. This year, a new event has been added to the lineup called “Turbo Jav. ” Athletes will be given a mini javelin that is 36 inches long and will throw it to see whose javelin goes the furthest.

The games will open at 1 p.m. with the inspirational carrying of the Special Olympics torch. Athletes parade onto the outdoor track, in the spirit of the International Olympic Games. WJU also will provide crafts and sport clinics at the McDonough Center for those taking a break from competing.

The WJU Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Circle K International, WJU Student Government Association, the Service for Social Action Center and many others work together to hold the event. Representatives from these organizations recruit volunteers and organize activities for Special Olympics.

Lunch will be served to all participants sponsored by the Wheeling Kiwanis Club, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition.

Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 32 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. Special Olympics currently serves 3.7 million athletes, ages eight years and above, in more than 170 countries.

This event is free and open to the public. For additional information or to volunteer, contact the WJU Service for Social Action Center at service@wju.edu or call 304-243-8728.