TROY - Nearly 1,000 athletes and about 350 of their coaches and chaperones will compete May 15 - 17 in the Special Olympics Alabama State Games at Troy University.
This year's event marks the ninth straight year Special Olympians have competed at TROY. This year's theme is "United We Win."
The weekend will kick off with the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run on Friday, May 15th. Law enforcement officers from all over the state will bring the torch into Troy around 2:00 p.m.
Competitions will include 10 sports conducted both on the Troy Campus and at venues in the city of Troy, beginning with the opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. May 15 in Trojan Arena. The ceremony will include a parade of athletes, special welcomes and entertainment.
Sporting events begin on May 16 at 9 a.m. at various venues. Sport events include swimming, gymnastics, equestrian, bowling, track and field, softball, cycling, bocce, power lifting, flag football and golf. A Victory Dance will be held Saturday night.
Closing ceremonies will be conducted May 17 and will include a memorial service for those athletes who have died in the past year.
"The athletes are very excited to be returning to TROY," said Dean of Student Services Herb Reeves. "Not only would we extend an invitation for students and community members to participate in the special ceremonies, but volunteers are very important in order to make this event a success."
The State Games are coordinated through the University and community volunteers, and Reeves said volunteers were needed to help in various venues and events. To volunteer, contact Reeves at 334-670-3203 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We invite you to visit, cheer or volunteer to assist the athletes in having the best time ever. Your interest and help is greatly appreciated," he said.