06/06/08 — Athletic heroes: Special Olympians could use a hand from community

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Athletic heroes: Special Olympians could use a hand from community

There are some star athletes who are hitting the road this weekend to compete in the state Special Olympics events in Raleigh.

And there is no question that they will do their community proud.

The members of the Wayne County Special Olympics team run, throw and compete their hearts out — just as they do during their own qualifying events here at home.

And they bring home medals and honors from across the state every year, too.

But that is not the only reason to be proud of the young men and women who will don uniforms for their county this weekend.

They could teach us a whole lot about courage, determination and deciding that you are going to be the best — no matter what obstacles you might face.

And these days, there are plenty of people who need to learn those lessons.

But although they did not ask — and it is too late for this year — the athletes could use some support from their community.

What do they need? Athletic shoes.

Because many of them live in group homes and are on limited incomes, few of these young people have the resources to provide proper shoes for their events.

Want to do something to encourage and reward them? How about buying one pair of tennis shoes for one of the 14 track athletes — or an athletic item for one of the others?

Interested? Call the track team coach, Kathleen Parrish, at 919-722-1147 — and let her know you can help.

A medal is nice, but knowing that you are an athlete whose skill is recognized and appreciated by your community ... that’s priceless.

Published in Editorials on June 6, 2008 11:00 AM