Special Olympics held in Jeff Davis Parish

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:29 PM CDT
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Lake Arthur, LA (KPLC) - Jeff Davis Parish students filled the bleachers, and waited at the finish line to cheer on their classmates at Monday’s Special Olympics at Lake Arthur High School.

This was the first time a Special Olympics was held in the parish, after a two-year hiatus of the Lake Charles competition.

“Good day, yeah fun,” said participant Vylot Touchette.

School administrators say the event was a success.

“I think it’s a special moment, we’ve never hosted it before,” said Lake Arthur assistant principal Heidi Duplantis.

This is more than just a race - it’s an opportunity for our community to cheer on group of individuals who are often overlooked.

“It makes you smile so big seeing them compete with each other and be on the same team, and really make them feel like they are competing with one another, it’s an amazing experience absolutely,” said adaptive P.E. teacher Grant Wild.

“They’re here to work on their motor skills but also here to work on their social skills and relationships between the disabled community and the non-disabled community,” said Jeremy Fuselier with the Jeff Davis Parish School Board.

More than 80 athletes competed in the games in many different events, including races and bocce ball.

“Running and throwing,” said Touchette.

The bleachers were full of fans cheering on their favorite athletes.

“To feel the energy from the town of Lake Arthur and just the entire parish. Parents, local dignitaries came out today to just cheer on our students as they display their many talents,” said Fuselier.

“To have our regular education students come out and support them and cheer them on as they compete was very important for our school and our community,” said Lake Arthur High School principal Amanda Fontenot.

It’s an event they say they can’t wait to make an annual competition in the parish.

“It’s just great for our kids,” said Wild.

This year’s Special Olympics only included middle and high school students in the parish. Next year, they’re hoping to include elementary students in the competition as well.

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