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CSD Skills for Life Students Participate in Special Olympics Track and Field Meet

CHS Special Olympics Participants Twenty-six Skills for Life students from the Cheltenham School District students joined students from Abington, Colonial, Hatboro-Horsham, Lower Merion, Upper Dublin, Norristown and Wissahickon in a one-day Special Olympics-sponsored track and field event Wednesday, May 29 hosted by Hatboro-Horsham. The Cheltenham Special Olympics team is comprised of the Skills for Life students 8-years-old and above from CHS, CBK and Myers Elementary.

Six CHS “students buddies” supported the students during the day, as they competed in the   50m, 200m, softball throw and standing long jump. Special Olympics athletes received ribbons for their participation.

“We’ve been competing at Hatboro-Horsham for almost 10 years and it’s always a special day,” said Unified Track and Field Coach Gus Ekhardt. “We received a great send-off this morning from our high school staff and students, and our team competed well. Special thanks to Cindy Blank, Eva Kaplan, Phil Cohen and Vonnie Gillick.”

According to its website, Special Olympics embraces a mission “to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”

And so to fulfill that mission, athletes participate in an eight-week training program prior to any Special Olympics competition to develop skills and learn rules and strategies from their coaches. These goals are accomplished through adaptive physical education classes and unified physical education at CHS.