Volunteers are needed to help with this year’s annual Special Olympics Alabama Games.
According to SpecialOlympics.org, Special Olympics Alabama was founded in 1968 and provides services and opportunities to thousands of athletes and volunteers during 300 annual competitions.
The mission of Special Olympics Alabama is to tackle inactivity, intolerance, isolation and injustice that people with intellectual disabilities face through sports, health, education and community programming.
Troy University came to host the Special Olympics nine years ago, according to Herbert Reeves, dean of student services.
“We hosted the Olympics many years ago, and then they rotated to various venues around the state,” Reeves said. “Nine years ago, we were approached about hosting the state games again and have done so since. This will be our ninth consecutive year hosting the games.”
This year Troy University expects approximately 1,400 athletes, coaches and chaperones from throughout Alabama to come to the competitions based on last year’s attendance.
“We had approximately 1,400 athletes, coaches and chaperones participate in the 2014 games,” Reeves said. “Of the 1,400 that attended, about 950 of them were athletes that participated in the various events.”
This year’s theme is “United We Win.”
Special Olympics volunteer applications are being accepted at this time.
Last year, approximately 600 volunteers helped with the events from Friday through Sunday.
Due to the equally large amount of participants that will be attending this year, those who are able to help with at least one event during the games are encouraged to fill out a volunteer application.
For those who cannot volunteer, you are invited to come support and cheer on the participants.
“Just being there in support of the athletes makes a huge difference,” Reeves said.
The Special Olympics Alabama Games will be on May 15-17, 2015.