Nordonia High School will be hosting more than 200 kids participating in Special Olympic track and field events for the first time ever May 18.
Student athletes from Nordonia, Copley, Aurora, Cuyahoga Falls, Woodridge, Twinsburg, Springfield Township, Stow, Tallmadge, Barberton and Kids First will participate in activities of their choosing from running events to ball toss events, according to Carrie Hutchinson, director of pupil services for Nordonia Schools.
She said this is the first time in more than 20 years Summit County has hosted the track and field events.
Events will include: a 25-meter wheelchair manual -- the athlete will manually move their wheelchair on a straight line for 25 meters; 50 meter wheelchair slalom -- the athlete will maneuver through 5 cones set 10 meters apart; Distance throw -- the athlete will throw a softball within a sector; Push off of a tee -- the athlete will push/swing at a foam ball set on a batting tee; Ramp roll -- the athlete will push a ball down a ramp; and a Unified Relay in which two athletes will run in a relay event with two "typical" students.
Hutchinson said spectators are welcome to come cheer on the kids There will be activity booths set up around the track for kids while they are not competing to participate in as well. All students will receive a participation ribbon and the school districts will get a trophy for being there. She said unlike the Special Olympics that Nordonia High School hosted on May 6, the events are not state qualifiers.
Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. and closing ceremonies will take place around 12:15 p.m.
Glen Blakeney, co-director of area 10 which includes Summit and Portage counties among others, said Nordonia High School hosted more than 275 athletes ages 8-70 May 6 for the track and field events to qualify for Summer Olympics which will be held in Columbus June 23-25. From the June events athletes can be selected for national and international Olympic events.
Just some of the May 6 events included weightlifting, bocci ball, shot put, and more.
"It's a fantastic opportunity to participate," Blakeney said. "We had a lot of support throughout the community."
He said Superintendent Dr. Joe Clark and a few key organizations came out to support the events including Sam's Club, American Legion Ladies Aux District #14, Ladies Cotillion of Akron which donated $4,000 to the organiztion.
"We also thank the Nordonia Booster Club and Nordonia High School for the use of the facility," he said.
For more info on Special Olympics of Ohio visit www.sooh.org.