Newbury Park High School Track & Field Special Olympics
Newbury Park High School (NPHS) hosted the 7th Annual Track & Field Special Olympics at the NPHS Football Stadium on Saturday, May 18th. Sponsored by the National Honor Society, the event was run by student volunteers. Approximately 200 athletes ranging from the age of 5 to 22 years participated from schools throughout the county, including: Conejo Valley Unified Schools, Fillmore, Boswell, Pleasant Valley School District, Oxnard High School, Buena High School, Moorpark High School, Simi Valley Unified School District, Mountain Meadows School and Lindero Canyon School.
Special Olympics is a worldwide program of sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic type sports. The School Games is an opportunity for students from Ventura County to participate in a Special Olympics track and field training and competition program as part of their physical education or special day class program. The Special Olympics School Games provides training and competitive sports options to elementary, middle, and high school special education and adapted physical education students. It encourages youth participation, inclusion and leadership in local schools.
Athletic events include long jump, softball throw, running events and a short soccer game. Each athlete was awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal for their efforts.
Athletes were paired with a volunteer buddy, and together they shared in a morning of athletic events, friendship building, and they concluded the day by eating lunch together.
The Opening Ceremony kicked off with a formal parade procession of athletes and their buddies marching behind banners to the music of the NPHS band. The Opening Ceremony song was also performed by students from NPHS’s Sign Language classes.
The school is actively involved with the event as clubs on campus sponsor a community fair with carnival booths featuring face painting, cookie decorating, musical games, friendship bracelet-making and so much more. Therapy ponies were also on hand for grooming and petting.
This event was made possible thanks to countless hours of devoted time from Newbury Park High School’s Special Education Department, student volunteers, community volunteers, and invaluable community sponsors including Bank of America, Judy’s Donuts, Starbucks, Kiwanis Club of Thousand Oaks, Costco and Western Bagel in Westlake. Opportunities for participation in School Games are offered year round. Learn more at: https://www.sosc.org/ventura
Congratulations to all the athletes! We salute you!