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ODU Special Olympics Rescheduled to April 7

Students from the Disabilities and Aging in Therapeutic Recreation course at Old Dominion University are organizing the second annual ODU Special Olympics, scheduled to take place on campus from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, on Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. (Originally scheduled for April 5, the event was rescheduled to April 7 due to the threat of rain.)

Approximately 50 Norfolk Public Schools students from grades K-5 attended last year's event, which is co-sponsored by Norfolk Public Schools and Special Olympics Virginia. This year's Special Olympics, dubbed the "Little Feet Meet," is being expanded considerably.

"This year we will have close to 200 elementary schoolchildren participating from the Norfolk Public Schools. Last year's inaugural event was such a huge success that we have expanded the number of participants and have moved the event to Foreman Field," said Betsy Kennedy, senior lecturer of human movement sciences, who teaches the Disabilities and Aging in Therapeutic Recreation course and coordinates the ODU Special Olympics.

"ODU will provide about 250 student volunteers to run the events and be 'buddies' with the participants. The ODU human movement sciences department and the Monarch football team will provide many of the volunteers."

The NPS students can take part in a total of 18 events. Medal events will feature a 50-meter dash and standing long jump, and the following skill development events will be offered: softball throw, hula hoop toss, football throw, golf putting, tee-ball hitting, tossing station, parachute activities, obstacle course, soccer kick, weightlifting, bean bag toss, fitness station, ladder ball, track events, hockey shot and races.

"The ODU Special Olympics is a wonderful partnership between the university, the Norfolk Public Schools and Special Olympics Virginia," said Kennedy, who noted that the Little Feet Meet is not an official competition of the Special Olympics. "The event provides an excellent service-learning experience for ODU students while promoting opportunities for the Norfolk Public Schools students to develop their physical skills, display their talents and have fun," she said.

This article was posted on: April 4, 2011

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