Stephenville ISD is hosting its third annual Special Olympics from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday at Henderson Junior High.

The opening ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. and SISD Superintendent Matt Underwood will declare the Special Olympics open.

The athletes will recite a pledge and one of the students will sing the national anthem.

The athletes will then make their way onto the field through the big helmet the football players use to come in during their games.

There will be several field and running events including the 100-yard dash, 50-yard dash, a wheelchair race and assisted walk race.

“At the end, we will have a ceremony where they will get medals and there will be a podium for them to stand on and we will give recognition at that point for everyone,” Special Education Coordinator Penny Hampton said. “The young athletes will get a ribbon to indicate that they’re young, Olympic athletes, [and] our older ones will get a participation medal."

The Lions Club will provide hotdogs for lunch.

The Special Olympics is also scheduled for the same day as Tarleton State University’s Service Day and Hampton said she is expecting over 100 individuals from Tarleton to volunteer.

“(This event) brings together people from so many different areas of interest to make something that’s enjoyable and great for every student,” Hampton said.

For something new this year, the Special Olympics will be open to all grade levels.

“We’ve had amazing support from Mr. Underwood and my director, Stephanie Atchley. They have both been very supportive of making sure we keep Special Olympics going and really, when you think about it, having these students being able to have the opportunity to participate in things, it’s really a pretty awesome experience to watch,” she said.