Friday, March 23, 2012

Runnin' Sweatin' n Gettin' New Tennies

The annual Special Olympics Fun Run was yesterday.  About 50 children with special needs,  their families and children in grades 5 and 6 from five schools in Orange Walk participated in a 2 K walk/run through town. The whole event started with passing out free tennis shoes to the participants.

The shoes come from an organization based in Boulder, Colorado called One World Running. They gather "nearly new" donated shoes from all over the US that have been dropped off in selected running stores.  Volunteers sort the shoes into "newish" and "too old" bins. Then the shoes are washed and shipped around the world to be donated to poor children.  This picture is from their website:

One World Running has teamed up with Belize Special Olympics for 4 years running (pun, ouch!). 


After the shoes were passed out,  we sang the National Anthem, had a prayer, (yes everything begins with prayer in Belize), and some dignitaries spoke while the rest of us tried to pay attention.  This year the speakers were mercifully short.  Which is a good thing when you are standing in direct sunlight since 8 AM and it's rounding 9:45 AM  and the temperature is 90 degrees (if we were in the shade!).

A police Drill Sargent who is a friend of Special Olympics and the father of a St Peter's student, led us in stretching exercises in a booming voice that carried easily throughout the group of about 425 participants.  Eventually we headed to the starting line and were off!  I hung back and took pictures and then brought up the tail end of the race.

When we got back to the finish line, someone passed out free water and bananas to everyone.

My role this year? Photographer.  I hope some of the 64 pictures that I took were good enough for Special Olympics to use for promotion.

 The little girl pushing this boy's wheel chair is blind (!)  They were cute together.

 Abner from our program. He is always doing physical humor.

 Elizanie, Sulmi, Gineli and Kristel.

 The three deaf boys from our program: Rayan, Jaheed, and Misael.
Misael came in second over all.  It wasn't really a race.  It was supposed to be a slow paced most of the people did just that.  BUT,our  ten year old boys are competitive.  For them, it's always a "RACE".

 This little girl with the lower body motor control issues, walked the whole 2K...smiling! She wears a sign that says"I am special, so are you!"

1 comment:

  1. I have good memories of Special Olympics. Your pics are great! Thanks for sharing!