Webster County Special Olympics

Ethan Ragsdel, Writer

Saturday, March 23, marked the second year Marshfield held the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics started out as a Senior Project of Emma Tibbs’, after she realized that these kids don’t get the opportunity to play sports like the others. After Tibbs graduated she could no longer keep the event going, that’s where the Kiwanis Club comes in. They decided to take over the event and expand a bit even going as far as changing the name to “Webster County Special Olympics.”

This year, 44 participants were signed up to compete in The Webster County Special Olympics, but due to cold weather and an early morning start those numbers dropped a bit. For the participants that showed up, there were a lot of events for them to compete in. Such as 50m, 100m and the 200m, kids could also compete in the long jump, basketball and football toss, a basketball shootout and finally a soccer kick. Niangua was the only other school at the event, one of their participants named Tristan Jones held the honor of singing the National anthem.

The kids were put into age groups to make the competing a better experience. The groups were pre-k to second, three to six and seven to twelve in a group. The groups took turns rotating through events, with students and coaches helping in various events. Coaches from football helped with the football toss and track coaches helped with the track events.

The community showed up to support the participants, with students from MHS putting together a loud crowd to cheer them on. The loud crowd split up into groups and went to different events around the track. Each participant had a buddy (another student) that would run and do events with them. Parents and teachers volunteered their time to help the kids have a good, and enjoyable time.

Sherry Davis is a voice for Marshfield schools, she was a big part of getting the Olympics back here in Marshfield. Davis has been teaching since 2001, and she’s been at Marshfield since 2011. Davis never planned on being a Special Education teacher, until the night before school in 2001, Niangua asked her to be their Special Education teacher. She went to school and earned her degree and has been in the field ever since. Davis said, “You’ll have to be really flexible and have patience when it comes to teaching.”

To continue to do these kinds of events it takes volunteers to help put it together, Davis says “I would like to thank the students and coaches that came and helped the kids have fun, it means a lot.” Thanks to the Kiwanis Club, The Webster County Olympics will continue next year.