Local residents to participate in Special Olympics

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


Fifthteen people from WCDC will represent Washington at the Special Olympics next month in Cedar Rapids.

?We?re excited to participate April 7 at Coe College,? said WCDC President Dave Hoffman. ?We?re kind of starting small here. We decided to start with track and field, because it?s something that everybody can do. We?ve got a lot of excited people here and the best part of the deal is it gets us out moving [and] helps us with healthy living.?

Jeff said he was excited to go to the Special Olympics next month.

?Fun and winning,? Jeff added.

Amanda said she was excited to participate in a running event and hopes she wins her event.

Phil said he was excited to go and wanted to win.

Alan is another participant, who hopes to do well at the special olypics next month.

?I just like being active,? he said. ?I don?t like being cooped up at home all the time.?

Rob has participated in the Special Olympics before, he said.

?The last time I did it I got a blue [ribbon] and then I got [another] blue and then I went up to state and then I got a silver medal,? Rob said. ?Second place ? that was in the 50-meter walk.?

This is the first group to represent Washington in a while, Hoffman said. Duane Davis, father of Shayla Davis, approached Hoffman and said it would be nice to get a group from Washington to go to the Special Olympics again.

Hoffman contacted Erin Birkenholz, the director of regional field services in Southeast Iowa, and invited her to meet with clients at WCDC interested in participating.

Hoffman also invited Washington High School boys? track coach Steve Roth and Davis to help coach the team, he said. There also will be several volunteers going that day.

Since it was decided to get a team together for the Special Olympics, times to work out were scheduled at facilities in the Washington Community School District.

?We worked out on Wednesdays and Fridays for the adaptive P.E. class [at] Washington High School,? Hoffman said. ?We go from 10:10 to 11:30 [a.m.], so it gives us time to get in shape [and] exercise.?

They?re working on javelin throwing, shot put and lifting weights, he added.

?They can participate in two events plus a relay and we haven?t necessarily picked what events they?re going to be in yet, but we?ve been kind of working on that,? Hoffman said.

The clients who work during the day worked out at Case Field Tuesday afternoon.

Soon, the coaches will help the participants decide what events to be in.

?If they?re a good runner then we?ll help them go that direction,? Hoffman said. ?If they?re good at throwing the shot put or javelin.?

The event will start in the morning at Coe College and will run the whole day.

Hoffman invites people from the county to go and cheer the participants on at the competition.