It’s Spring Sports’ Time to Shine!

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It’s Spring Sports’ Time to Shine!

The Special Olympics Kentucky basketball season has come to an end and that means that athletes across the state are gearing up for the spring sports season and the drive to the 2022 State Summer Games, which will be held June 4 at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond. Spring sports include track and field, swimming, soccer, bocce and rhythmic gymnastics. While rhythmic gymnastics only competes at the Summer Games, the others have longer seasons starting soon.

Swimming

The 2022 Swimming season opened on March 26 with the Versailles swim meet at Falling Springs. It will be the first of three qualifying meets on the schedule this year. Swimming athletes are required to compete in at least one of the program’s three qualifying meets to compete in the State Summer Games.

2022 Swimming Schedule
March 26 – Versailles Swim Meet – Falling Springs, Versailles
April 9 – University of Louisville Swim Meet – Ralph Wright Natatorium, Louisville
April 30 – Northern Kentucky Swim Meet – Silverlake Family Center, Erlanger

Track and Field

One of the largest of Special Olympics Kentucky’s 15 sport offerings, track and field offers an easy point of entry to Special Olympics competition for many new athletes. More than 1,000 athletes are expected to compete in track and field statewide this year.

Special Olympics Kentucky offers eight Area Track and Field Meets across the state as qualifiers for the State Summer Games. Athletes must compete in one area meet in order to participate in the State Games.

2022 Track and Field Schedule
April 9 – Area 6 Track and Field Meet – Meece Middle School, Somerset
April 23 – Area 1 Track and Field Meet – Calloway County High School, Murray
April 23 – Area 2 Track and Field Meet – Owensboro Middle School
April 23 – Area 3&9 Track and Field Meet – Johnson Central High School, Paintsville
April 23 – Area 5 Track and Field Meet – Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green
April 23 – Area 8 Track and Field Meet – Great Crossing High School, Georgetown
April 30 – Area 7 Track and Field Meet – Lloyd High School, Erlanger
May 14 – Area 4 Track and Field Meet – Assumption High School, Louisville

Soccer

Soccer is the one team sport offering for Special Olympics Kentucky in the spring. More than 300 athletes compete in the sport each year.

The Special Olympics Kentucky soccer season consists of two or three regional tournaments that lead to the State Tournament, which is held as part of the State Summer Games. Teams must compete in at least one regional to qualify for the State Games.

2022 Soccer Schedule
April 24 – Versailles Regional Soccer Tournament; WYSA Complex, Versailles
May 1 – Louisville Regional Tournament; E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park

Bocce

Bocce has been one of the fastest-growing sports in the Special Olympics Kentucky program since its introduction a little over a decade ago. Prior to last year, the sport was only held at the State Summer Games. Last year a bocce invitational was added at Christian Academy of Louisville. That event will return this year on Sunday, April 10.

Mirroring the Special Olympics Kentucky bowling program, bocce has become the perfect spring sport for athletes with mobility issues and older athletes who still want to participate in the State Summer Games.

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Kentucky has long been a national leader in the area of Special Olympics gymnastics, with Kentucky athletes winning dozens of gold medals at the USA and World Games levels.

The rhythmic gymnastics competition has been held at the State Summer Games for several years after replacing artistic gymnastics at the Games. The change allowed gymnasts to remain on the Eastern Kentucky University campus during the Games instead of having to transport off campus — as far as Lexington in many years — to find a suitable competition site.

For information about any Special Olympics Kentucky sports programs contact Kim Satterwhite at 502-695-8222 or ksatterwhite@soky.org.