PHOTOS: PNG plays host to Special Olympics games

Published 12:16 am Thursday, October 21, 2021

PORT NECHES — The Reservation played host to several Groves Middle School athletes competing with other schools around the state Wednesday.

The group was part of Unified Sports, through which schools compete in the Special Olympics.

“We joined this year and we are the first middle school to do it in our district,” Life Skills Teacher Brandy Fontenot said. “This was our first event.”

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COVID restrictions have not allowed athletes to meet at a designated location, so participants record their statistics and send in the results. On Wednesday, the athletes participated in a track and field event that included sprints, relays and throwing competitions.

“They basically competed against all of the schools in Texas today,” Fontenot said. “They will get rewards sent back to them and they will compete in other events like this this year.”

The eight athletes received ribbons for placing during the events.

“That means everything to me,” Fontenot said of seeing the smiles on their faces. “These kids become like my own kids. They are my babies. A lot of them don’t talk often. To see them all smiling today was amazing. You can tell they really like it. Some are really happy all of the time. Some are a little harder to make open up. Today, every single one of them was smiling.”

Members of the Groves Middle School student council helped with the competitions.

The program was founded in 2008 and has more than 4,500 elementary, middle and high schools in the United States.