Ninety athletes from Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine and Winn parishes competed in the Louisiana Special Olympics Red River Area Athletics Meet hosted by Northwestern State University April 10. Competitors, who ranged in age from children to adults, participated in a variety of track and field events that began with a torch run to open the ceremonies.
Now in its third year of hosting the Louisiana Special Olympics Red River Area Athletics Meet, Northwestern State University was named a Unified Champion School, a designation that acknowledges inclusion, volunteerism and leadership in organizing and promoting the games. Seated from left are Charlie Courville, director of programs for Louisiana Special Olympics; NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio and Brock Banos, director of Health and Unified Strategies for Special Olympics, along with Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey, event coordinator Mallory McConathy of Stonewall and student volunteers from the President’s Leadership Program who helped organize Tuesday’s games.
Ceremonies began with a torch run and the Special Olympics oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” NSU’s President’s Leadership Program adopted the Special Olympics three years ago as a community impact project and enlisted help from NSU students and staff, Natchitoches Central High School and St. Mary’s School to host the games.