Special Olympics spreads compassion and acceptance, uniting the world through sports, and a 5K fundraiser for the local branch is coming to Oxford next month.
The second annual Run in the Sun 5K benefitting Special Olympics Mississippi begins at 7:30 a.m. June 20. Proceeds from the run will go toward sending Special Olympics athletes to statewide, national and sometimes international competitions.
The Special Olympics organization was founded in 1968 and is now the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
According to the Mississippi sector’s website, “the mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics Athletes and their community.”
Race director Will Cook has seen firsthand the impact the organization can make on the athletes both by keeping them in shape and by offering social interactions not always available to them.
“It provides these athletes with not just exercise and athletic competition, but also social opportunities to be among their peers,” Cook said. “If you think about it how you would play rec sports in Oxford, people with special needs can still play in those, but it wouldn’t be as meaningful. This gives them a venue to compete amongst their peers, and socialization is the biggest part of it as well. It’s something that’s in big demand now. We have a lot of special needs individuals who enjoy competing.”
Registration is $25 in advance online and $30 the day of the run. Participants will receive a free t-shirt and gift bag, and door prizes from Davis Family Pharmacy, Buffy’s on the Square, The Candle Shoppe, Pizza Den, Dipstix, Chili’s, Home Depot, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Sunsations, and more will be announced.
For more information on the run, call (662) 934-0751 or register online.
Amelia Camurati is editor of HottyToddy.com and can be reached at email@example.com.