Athletes and Volunteers Participate in Special Olympics Iowa Challenge Day

Special Olympics Iowa (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Approximately 40 athletes and dozens of volunteers came together for the Special Olympics Iowa Challenge Day at Ruby Van Meter School on Saturday.

The athletes participated in 11 events including golf, basketball, and baseball. Both volunteers and athletes said the event is inspiring because it gives them an opportunity to participate in sports that are not normally catered toward people with special needs.

Nathan Williamson, one of the athletes, said he really enjoyed the golf–which is a new event this year–but it’s not just about the sports. Williamson likes “just hanging out with friends and enjoying the day.”

Volunteer Jessica Hotchkiss said, “They get to see their old classmates, their old teachers, and get to see their school and the changes that happened to it over the years. And it gives them a chance to participate in sports and exercise and have lots of fun.”

The event wrapped up with a closing ceremony that volunteers said the athletes really value, and they are proud of their accomplishments.