We can be champions together

Published 10:28 am Wednesday, May 20, 2015

On Tuesday, April 29, and Wednesday, April 30, Franklin City and Southampton County high schools hosted the Special Olympics “Champions Together” track and field event. While the athletes and their partners competed in the 25-, 50-, 100- and 400-meter assisted run, the 400-meter unified relay, tennis ball throw, softball throw and shot put, the event was about much more than trophies, medals and other accolades. It was about building friendships, embracing and accepting those with disabilities and giving them an opportunity to experience the same joys of competition that they otherwise would not.

For many, high school is tough enough. There are divisions amongst students, and for those with disabilities, it’s even more difficult. Because of this partnership between Special Olympics Virginia and the aforementioned schools, these students are able to feel included in their own hallways and in the community.

They are encouraged to participate in physical activities and can develop relationships with other students who may not have extended a helping hand prior.

We at The Tidewater News applaud Franklin City and Southampton County public schools for being two of only 23 school districts in the Commonwealth of Virginia that participated in the “Champions Together” program. We sincerely hope that the school districts continue to host the program, because we believe that events such as this are the only way that we can build a school district, a community, a nation and a world more respectful of others that may not be exactly like us.