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Students to compete in annual Special Olympics

Students enrolled in special education classes throughout the Demopolis City School System will compete in their own Special Olympics on Friday, April 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

In its third year, Demopolis’ Special Olympics was started by Blaine Hathcock during his tenure as Demopolis Middle School principal and Lisa McHugh, a self-contained special education teacher at DMS.

“We give them a chance to compete against each other and win medals,” McHugh said.

According to McHugh, the day is designed “for us to focus on [the students] and what they can do.”

There are approximately 40 students competing in events such as the long jump, a relay race, a basketball toss, a water balloon launch, a baseball throw and bowling.

First, second and third place medals will be awarded in each category, and each competitor will be given a medal at the end of the day.

In addition to the competitions, the Special Olympics will have a DJ, snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs and cotton candy.

Students not enrolled in special education classes will also be involved assisting competitors, such as by directing students to the next game or pushing students in wheelchairs during the relay race.

McHugh said that everyone in attendance will enjoy watching the students compete.

“It would just give everybody a chance to see how well the kids work together. It’s just good for everybody.”

McHugh and everyone involved in the Special Olympics thanks the following sponsors for providing monetary donations: Demopolis Rotary Club, Sweet Water State Bank, Robertson Banking Company, Naheola Credit Union, Marengo Insurance and Soggy Bottom Lodge.

They also thank the following sponsors for donating food, drinks and other necessary items: Vowell’s Marketplace, Foster Farms, Jason Windham and Batter Up Sports Bar and Grill and Demopolis Pilot Club.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, April 11 issue of the Demopolis Times.)