For more than four decades Bay County Special Olympics has inspired children to play a variety of sports. Saturday afternoon friends and families that share a special bond went to Mowat Middle School for a day on the court.
Bay County's finest Special Olympians took to the court and competed for awards and bragging rights, but for many of the players, the finest highlights were visiting old friends and making many more. Basketball players between the ages of eight and twenty-five, played a series of games tailored to teach certain skills.
Points are awarded based on communication, dribbling, passing and of course shooting. These contests are called skill games and are played between the three point line and the basket.
Bay County Special Olympics Director, Barbara Churchwell, has worked with the program for forty years. She says teammates and parents are like a family and the game teaches far more than what meets the eye, "Everyone gets involved with everyone and all the athletes start young and mature into adulthood playing Special Olympics sports. They develop the skills necessary to for life long living, that is the main goal is to improve their health and well being through sports."
The Bay County Special Olympics offers twenty-six sports throughout the year. The next event will be next Wednesday, January 8th. It will be a full court tournament held in Marianna at The Sunland Center.