[StBernard] St. Bernard school system set to host state Special Olympics

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Thu Mar 1 19:31:17 EST 2012

St. Bernard school system set to host state Special Olympics

Published: Thursday, March 01, 2012, 7:00 AM

By Kim Gritter

Special-needs students will have their turn in the spotlight when they
compete in track and field events at the 2012 Louisiana Special Olympics
hosted by the St. Bernard Parish Public School System.

During this year's event, set for Friday at the Chalmette High School track
and field stadium, students will complete according to their age ranges and
abilities along with buddy students from Chalmette High who will be paired
with them for the day's events.

Opening ceremonies will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m., followed by the
games and an awards ceremony.

Cheramie Kerth, the school district's supervisor of special education, said
family and friends are encouraged to attend to cheer on the athletes.

"Special Olympics events are an opportunity for families to share in the
accomplishments of their children, to meet other families and to have new
recreational activities and family pride," Kerth said.

Lunch will be provided for the athletes and their buddies by the Kiwanis
Club of St. Bernard-Arabi, and concessions and baked goods will be sold.

Kerth said participation is free and open to individuals ages 8 and older
who have intellectual or developmental challenges. Participants may or may
not have a physical handicap, but must have intellectual challenges.
Eligible students from the St. Bernard Parish Public Schools are encouraged
to participate. Last year's event drew nearly 100 participants.

A variety of track and field events are planned, including the softball
throw, standing long jump, 25-meter walk, 100-meter run and 25-meter
wheelchair race.

The event also will include St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office deputies
participating in the "Flame of Hope" Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special
Olympics Louisiana, and musical entertainment will be provided by the
Chalmette High School band, who will perform the National Anthem. An athlete
from each representing school will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and/or
recite the Special Olympics Oath: "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me
be brave in the attempt."

The St. Bernard Parish Special Olympics is a combined effort between the St.
Bernard public school system and community volunteers and sponsors.

For more information, call 504.301.2000.

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