Over 200 athletes participate in St. Mary’s County in a variety of individual and team sports which are offered at the local, district, state, national, and world levels.
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This past week, St. Mary’s County held its Special Olympics to the delight of hundreds of spectators and some very worthy competitors.
The local program provides many opportunities to athletes that would not be readily available to them under other circumstances. Yearly, athletes attend the Maryland State Winter Games at Wisp Ski Resort in Fort McHenry, and the Summer Games at Towson State University.
The Special Olympics has been active and growing in St. Mary’s County since 1969. It is a year round comprehensive sports program of training and competition designed to provide the maximum fun and benefit for mentally and physically challenged individuals.
Special Olympics training and competition is open to persons, age five to senior citizens, who have developmental disabilities, regardless of the degree of the disability. Sports training and competition are currently offered in the following areas: Basketball, Swimming, Bowling, T-Ball, Soccer, Track, Sailing, and Horseback Riding.
The administration of the programs here in St. Mary’s County are provided totally by volunteers from various backgrounds. Special Olympics could not exist without the countless time, limitless energy, dedication, and commitment of these volunteers.
Special Olympics believes that through sports training and competition, people with disabilities benefit physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. The community at large, through participation and observation, can gain an understanding of people with disabilities. Special Olympics provides an environment of equality, respect and acceptance for all who are involved.
For more information about athlete participation, volunteering, or financial support for St. Mary’s County Special Olympics, please contact Mary Lu Bucci, County Director at (301) 373-3469.