More than 1,500 athletes will go for gold at track and field meet

The 48th annual NISD Special Olympics Track and Field Meet is scheduled for Feb. 27 – March 2 at Gustafson Stadium.

The theme for this year’s competition is “Special Olympian Superpowers”

Special Olympics began in Northside ISD in 1969 with just a handful of participants. This year, more than 1,500 Olympians will participate from 111 schools across the District.

Opening ceremonies begin each day at 10 a.m. with the Parade of Athletes, Torch Run, and lighting of the Special Olympics caldron. Opening ceremonies each day will feature special entertainment to help pump up the athletes, including high school drum lines, ROTC Honor Guards, and dance groups.

In addition to the 111 schools participating over the four-day event, hundreds of student, community, and district volunteers will be on hand to support the athletes and cheer them on to victory.

The 2017 Volunteer of the Year award is dedicated to Dr. Nicholas Walsh and UT Health Science Center SA for their volunteer work to provide physicals for Special Olympics athletes for the past 30 years.

“We are honored to have so many community and NISD student volunteers” says Donna Umhoefer, lead specialist for NISD Adapted Physical Education/Special Olympics. “It proves that our athletes have the superpower of bringing everyone together.”

Competition events include the 50-meter dash, 100-meter dash, softball throw, Turbojav, and running long jump, along with wheelchair and developmental racing and throwing events.

Opening ceremonies participants include:

  • Monday, Feb. 27: (Elementary schools competing)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28: (Elementary schools competing)
  • Wednesday, March 1: (Middle schools competing)
  • Thursday, March 2: (High schools competing)

Team trophies and awards will be presented at 1:30 p.m. each day during closing ceremonies.