There were a few more athletes running laps Wednesday at Washington High School. The school's track and field team was joined by runners with the St. Joseph County Special Olympics.
The athletes hit the pavement together for a few hours Wednesday afternoon facing off in a little friendly competition, and bonding over their mutual love of sports.
Organizers hope Wednesday’s joint practice is the beginning of a lasting tradition of Special Olympics events at Washington. They say the learning really does go both ways.
“I think a big part is kind of being aware of people with special needs and just being thankful for what they have and seeing the Special Olympic athletes giving effort,” says Anthony Douglas the vice president of the IHSAA Student Advisory Committee. “It feels good to give people an opportunity to just have fun and also give the Special Olympic athletes a chance to feel like normal student athletes, just to feel like they're normal.”
Special Olympics recently formed a partnership with the IHSAA, so Wednesday's event was a great opportunity to showcase the organizations' alliance.