Spectators are invited to watch all track and field events, which kick off at 9 a.m. with the parade of athletes and will end around noon.
“We would love to have people come out and sit in the stands and cheer,” said committee chair Cathy Hoggard. “To see the motivation and enthusiasm that these athletes have, well, I can’t imagine anyone leaving without being touched.”
According to Hoggard, who re-ignited the concept of a county competition two years ago, the games are run entirely by volunteers and receive sponsorship from many local organizations.
“We have a very, very good group that was excited and eager to see that (Special Olympics) returned to Richmond County,” said Hoggard. “And we have great support from the community.”
To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, athletes must have an intellectual disability; a cognitive delay, or a developmental disability.
Athletes must be at least 8-years-old to compete, but there is no age limit; they are required to work with a designated trainer in their specific sport for a total of eight hours before being able to participate.
“A lot of times this is looked at as a fun day,” said Hoggard. “But it is an actual competition.”