On Saturday, May 3, 2014, 47 students from Celebrate the Children participated in the Special Olympics at Hackettstown High School in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
“The transformative power of sports to instill confidence, improve health and inspire a sense of competition is at the core of what Special Olympics does. In Special Olympics, the power and joy of sport, shifts focus to what our athletes CAN do, not what they can't. Attention to disabilities fades away. Instead, we see our athletes' talents and abilities -- and applaud them for all that they can do. And they are doing a lot -- from gymnastics to soccer to open-water swimming. With more than 32 Olympic-style sports, they offer adults and children with intellectual disabilities many ways to be involved in their communities, many ways to show who they really are.” (http://www.specialolympics.org/mission.aspx)
Confidence, self-esteem and pride is exactly what one of our students expressed after the event this year. Please see the special note from his Mom below…
I want to thank Celebrate the Children staff for their unbelievable effort for our kids preparing for and executing the day at the Special Olympics. It was a wonderful day. Everyone did so well. I want to share Robert's story:
He was really so grown-up on Saturday. From registration on, Robert held it together through all the waiting (which is a huge change from last year). When his event finally arrived, he was ready. The CTC team of coaches on the field got him to the starting line. He won his heat. He was so overjoyed to win the first medal in running. At the lunch break he told me the following:
1. “I am good at track and field.”
2. “Practice is worth it because it pays off and makes you better.”
3. “You can win gold if you believe in yourself. I believe in myself.”
While waiting for the afternoon event, Robert was in hyper drive. Jumping up and down. Making noise that was almost screaming. I kept asking him if he was okay and he kept saying, “I am excited.” I was afraid he was going to tire out before the event. Mike hung with him and worked his “Robert Magic”. When it came time for the event, he threw the best shot I have ever seen him throw. This from a week ago, when I called Lisa about his frustration last Sunday when he did his first practice throws.
At the end of the day he told me, “I thought only positive thoughts and that worked." I told him to remember that today as he is in testing. He seemed very relaxed about testing.
I can't thank everyone enough. Lisa, Danielle, Hollis, Mike and everyone else that believed in Robert and got him to believe in himself. (Rosemary Kellner, Proud Parent, Celebrate the Children)
Contributions to this blog are made by Celebrate the Children's highly talented, interdisciplinary team and wonderful families.