Terrace Special Olympics held their first annual Sports Day Carnival outside Skeena Middle School on June 15.
From bowling, three-legged races, Jenga, to even having a bouncy castle, the event was held for the public to come play and meet the Special Olympics athletes.
“It’s great, there is a lot going on today in town so we had a really good turnout,” says Alex Walker, program coordinator for Special Olympics in Terrace. “Just getting the community out and educating them on Special Olympics and what we do is important.”
He says their original plan was to have the day filled with track and field events but because it was their first year running the event and wanted to encourage people to come out, they chose to have “carnival-style” games instead.
The athletes helped run different events throughout the day and kept the energy going as they cheered on all the competitors at every station.
“[The athletes] love it, they love being the focal point for the day. Lots of them [are wearing] their medals that they got from different games and they just like interacting with the community,” Walker says. “This is just another event for them to come showcase themselves, and most of them are not shy talking to people, they’re always willing to strike up a conversation.”
Athlete Keegan Haines plays on the Special Olympics’ bowling team in Terrace, who came in second place at their last meet. He helped run the Jenga stand at the Sports Day Carnival and says it was a big hit.
“We did really good with everything [but] Jenga was really popular… we sold 57 tickets for it,” Haines says. “Special Olympics for Terrace is pretty good and it’s always fun.”
Many local businesses donated items for their raffle draw at the end of the day to help support the Special Olympics events and competitions.
On June 22, Terrace Special Olympics will be at Safeway for their International Food Day to help cook and give out samples of their dishes to shoppers.