Volunteers, community members, parents and school faculty and staff came together Saturday to cheer on student-athletes at Stephenville ISD’s first ever Special Olympics at Lem Brock Field.

“Three years ago we talked about Special Olympics here at Stephenville and we really didn’t have a program. We obviously had kids involved in activities and teaching them some physical education basics, but we really wanted to get something started and it just took us a few years because we had some other priorities,” said Stephenville ISD Superintendent Matt Underwood. “It’s so awesome to finally see it come to fruition and it never could have happened without Sabrina Carter pushing it. It’s very hard to tell someone like Sabrina no. She just has such a heart for kids and she sucks you in and, as you can see with all the volunteers today, she’s been very successful in doing that.” 

Like Underwood said, Sabrina Carter, SISD life skills teacher and Olympics coach, initiated the Special Olympics with the help of Stephenville High School coach Kristi Mayes.

The event kicked off with an athlete parade and opening ceremony followed by the National Anthem by SHS student Shayla Perry and the field events, which included a softball throw, bocce ball, a mini javelin throw and a long jump.

The running events took place after lunch with an awards ceremony concluding the Special Olympics. 

Each participating athlete received an award with the top placing students awarded medals. 

“I am super pleased with the turn out. I think this is all we could have imagined it would be and I love that the community is supporting our athletes,” Carter said. “It can only get better from here, it’s our first one, so we’ll just learn from our mistakes and learn from our successes. Seeing the athletes’ faces is my favorite part. I love that they feel celebrated, worthy and important, and that people are cheering for them and they know that they are valued.”

This article will be updated to include the award-winners.