On May 17, 2016, RRT volunteers from the Redwood Falls Team were privileged to assist the Minnesota Special Olympics at a local track and field event. Twelve volunteers came to support and help make the day a success for the athletes, coaches, and family members.

The Special Olympics opening lap around the track. The colourful teams walking around the track.

Special Olympics is a global movement to create a world of inclusion where athletes celebrate their abilities, not their disabilities. Special Olympics Minnesota (SOMN) is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can with proper instruction and encouragement, learn and benefit from participating in both individual and team sports. SOMN offers 17 Olympic-style sports, so no matter the age or skill level, they have something available for every athlete.

Get Ready, Get Set, Go! The Wheelchair Slalom.

At this track and field event, the RRT was tasked with assisting the Special Olympics team of volunteers with setup, as well as managing the staging of athletes and timing of races.  From a 10 meter walk to an 800 meter run to a wheelchair slalom, it was exciting to keep up with all the events and keep the athletes motivated!

The staging area, preparing the athletes for the next event.

Due to the efficient staging, the day went smoothly and the event finished over an hour early.  Since there was a bit of extra time, the RRT members convinced the police officers, who were presenting awards, to have a 100 meter dash in full gear.  To the amusement of everyone, three officers sprinted around the track with their belts, guns, and armor!

The Police Officers lap around the track. Some of the many athletes receiving their awards.

The Special Olympics team were overjoyed with the performance of RRT and their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. The RRT Volunteers really had a great time interacting with the athletes and were glad they had helped out!

A happy day was had by all!

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