Duarte Unified Holds Inaugural Special Olympics Spring Competition
Pasadena Star NewsMay 22, 2016 Written by: Claudia PalmaDuarte Unified Holds Inaugural Special Olympics Spring CompetitionClick this direct link to view the article online: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/events/20160522/duarte-unified-holds-inaugural-special-olympics-spring-competitionDUARTE>> Hundreds of young athletes descended on the track at Duarte High School Friday ready to compete.
The inaugural all-day event was part of a new partnership between Special Olympics Southern California and Duarte Unified School District.
• Photos: Special Olympics in Duarte
Students from school districts including Duarte, Monrovia, Alhambra, Glendora, Baldwin Park and from Westmoreland Academy, competed in several events from relays to long jump and softball throws.
“[The event] just has to be modified to them,” said Greg Saris, adaptive physical education teacher at Duarte Unified. “If we can create an environment for them to be successful, then it becomes fun, competitive; exactly what it’s supposed to be.”
Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) usually have a competition event in March, but usually cap the number of athletes at about 300. When most of Duarte Unified’s special education classes weren’t able to attend last year’s event, they decided to hold their own.
The event was a success and the district decided to reach out the SOSC to see about partnering for a second event. Coincidentally, SOSC was looking to hold a second spring event and looking for a location.
“It’s all for the kids; they love competing, but there’s not a lot of opportunities, programs for them,” said Greg Saris, adaptive physical education teacher at Duarte Unified. “It’s the smile on their face; it’s amazing how happy they are.”
Saris said they have already planned with the SOSC to make this an annual event at Duarte Unified.