Special Olympics Visit PHS

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Members of the Piggott Elementary School Special Olympics team proudly carry the Mohawk colors into the gym for Friday's basketball skills competition.
TD photo/Tim Blair

In continuing what has become a popular late-winter event, Special Olympians from across much of Northeast Arkansas gathered at the Piggott High School gym on Friday, March 1, for the Area One Basketball Skills Competition. Over 300 athletes, and well over 100 volunteers, took part in the annual event which has become a favorite for both.

Marching into the packed PHS gym to a raucous welcome, the parade of athletes included participants from Piggott Schools along with Focus, Paragould Schools, Greene County Tech, Maynard Schools, Abilities Unlimited, Pocahontas Schools, the Doni Martin Center and Marmaduke Schools.

With the large, and appreciative, crowd of students, parents and volunteers serving as spectators the athletes made their entrance and were greeted by a line of well-wishers.

Afterward, those assembled joined in the Pledge of Allegiance and enjoyed a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. The athletes and volunteers then joined in the Special Olympics oath.

Returning to the microphone as master of ceremonies this year was Brother Kevin Murray of Emmanual Baptist Church, as he provided information and encouragement. Throughout the day, members of the PHS Marching Mohawk Band provided background music, a number of students also served as volunteers assisting the athletes, while others did facing painting, sold shirts and hoodies and worked the concession stand.

The local basketball skills competition is just one of the many sporting events sanctioned by Special Olympics of Arkansas. Many of the athletes took part in the bowling competition held earlier this year, and many will also compete in the upcoming annual games set for this spring at Greene County Tech's track facilities. The state games will also be held later this year at Harding University in Searcy.

The field representative for Area One is former Piggott resident, and teacher with the Piggott School District, Theresa Book. Those wanting more information on Special Olympics in Area One may contact her by phone at 870 598-4908 or by email at Theresa@specialolympicsarkansas.org

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