RED BLUFF, Calif.-- Every year students from Tehama County high schools pair with hundreds of athletes for a Special Olympics competition. The event hopes to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with physical or intellectual disabilities.
435 athletes participated in Tuesday's meet with ages ranging from 3 to adults. Athletes competed in modified versions of track and field events like using a softball for a shot put throw.
"We have 25, 50, 100 meter relays, we have wheelchair races, we have races for blind students where they run on ropes, just whatever we can do to make them successful," said Jody Johnson, who helped organized the event.
Parents who have kids with disabilities say events like the Special Olympics make a world of a difference.
Adalia Vaughan, who has two kids with physical disabilities said, "Theres a lot of things you see at the park, like you see kids climbing on the slides and stuff like that and you know your kid will never be able to do that so it just feels really good to see them out here and you know be able to participate."
Organizers say it was truly a community effort to put on the event. Track and field is of many sports that Special Olympics offers, they also hold free sports training and competitions throughout the year in 14 different sports.
Special Olympics says it hopes it gives athletes continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Click HERE for the offical Special Olympics website.