GIRARD, Kans. — Some local athletes compete in one of the newest and most inclusive sports featured in the Special Olympics. Going for the gold.
That’s what Special Olympic athletes in Girard spent the day doing at the Girard Activity Center. Competing in the Regional Unified Bocce Competition for Special Olympics Kansas.
“We have 66 teams participating, teams of four. It is busy, it is awesome, it is so much fun,” said Olivia Ryan, Special Olympics Kansas Southeast Region Director.
“Bocce is my most favorite sport, I’m really good at it. I hit the ball every time and get points and everything,” said Aubrey Cauley, Special Olympic Athlete.
Aubrey Cauley has been competing in Special Olympic competitions for more than five years now — telling me, he’s participated in pretty much every activity being offered.
“Track and Field, bowling, we’ve also had basketball, weight-lifting, a lot of different stuff,” said Cauley.
According to Ryan, bocce ball is one of the newest sports being added to the slate of games here at the Special Olympics and she says that’s because anyone can play it.
“I think it’s one of the coolest sports that we offer, I have not yet seen an athlete that is not enjoying it or doesn’t understand it and I think that, that is the most important part is they not only just show up, they get it and they have fun and they can build those relationships with their partners and teammates,” said Ryan.
And following the impressive turnout of more than 300 people – event organizers say they hope to bring the event back to Girard next year.