The beginning of March and the coming and going of the State Basketball Tournament mean that the busy Special Olympics Kentucky spring sports season is headed to the starting line. The season includes aquatics, track and field, soccer, bocce and rhythmic gymnastics, with all participating athletes pointed toward the 2017 State Summer Games, which will be held June 2-4 at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.
Athletes are already practicing for many sports and the competition season is fast approaching.
The 2017 Aquatics season was the first to officially get underway with the first meet held March 18 at Ralph Wright Natatorium at the University of Louisville. Aquatics athletes are required to compete in at least two of the program’s five qualifying meets to compete in the State Summer Games.
For information about the Special Olympics Kentucky aquatics program contact Amanda Wade at 502-695-8222 or [email protected].
Track and Field
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 1,500 athletes are expected to compete in track and field statewide again 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.
For more information about the Special Olympics Kentucky track and field program, contact Kim Satterwhite at 502-695-8222 or [email protected].
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 regional tournaments that lead to the State Tournament, which is held as part of the State Summer Games.
2017 Soccer Schedule
April 23 – Louisville Regional Tournament; E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park
April 30 – Woodford County Regional Soccer Tournament; WYSA Complex, Versailles
Bocce has been one of the fastest-growing sports in the Special Olympics Kentucky program since its introduction a little over a decade ago. The sport is only competed as part of the State Summer Games, where the competition has grown from three courts to nine.
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.
For information about the bocce program, contact Amanda Wade at 502-695-8222 or [email protected].
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.
Rhythmic gymnastics has been competed 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 more information about the Special Olympics Kentucky gymnastics program, contact Amanda Wade at 502-695-8222 or [email protected].