The Long Beach Public Schools Athletic Department hosted a districtwide Special Olympics program in June as a way to reward students for their teamwork and determination. Elementary, middle and high school-aged participants came together at Long Beach Middle School’s Veterans Field for a variety of activities that tested their athletic skills, but more importantly, their perseverance and sportsmanship.
Organized by middle school teachers and coaches Andrea Hinke and Dayna Obidienzo, the event featured track, softball throwing and long-jump components. Groups were organized by age group and levels, and volunteers from the Long Beach High School track team cheered for the contenders and helped to facilitate the activities. An opening ceremony, which included a student performance of the National Anthem, kicked off the games, and all participants received medals during a culminating award ceremony.
Students practiced twice per week for approximately two and a half months leading up to this exciting day and brought glowing enthusiasm to the field. Parents, teachers and administrators were among the spectators who applauded and encouraged them throughout the event.
“We are very proud of the students,” Ms. Hinke and Ms. Obidienzo said. “For the year they had, they really did an amazing job.”
Photo Credit: Bob Arkow Photography