DECATUR – Hundreds of Special Olympic athletes gathered at the Decatur Indoor Sports Center on Saturday to have fun and play a little basketball.
25 teams of athletes from all over central Illinois got to play two of the required three games in order to advance to the district tournament in Jacksonville on January 31st. Central Illinois Area 10 Director Joanie Keys says this is always a fun event for the athletes.
“The athletes here get to play a couple of games with their friends today,” says Keyes. “This gives them the opportunity to fulfill two of the games in one location and in one day.”
Thanks to some funding from the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the athletes were provided lunch, a t-shirt, and a medallion. The teams were split up into divisions based on athletic ability.
Volunteers from the St. Teresa High School boy’s basketball team were on hand to help with officiating and score keeping, while Our Lady of Lourdes 7th and 8th grade girl’s basketball members presented the medallions.
Keyes says it is always a great sight to see when Special Olympians get together for some fun.
“You always see a lot of good sportsmanship and high-fives happening when they interact,” she says. “A lot of them are good friends, or they are making new friends. We just like to reward them for what they can do considering many of them do have some sort of a disability.”