NATCHITOCHES – The Red River Games of the Louisiana Special Olympics will be held Tuesday, April 16 at Northwestern State University’s Walter Ledet Track Field. The event provides an opportunity for those with intellectual disabilities to compete in various track and field competitions. NSU students, staff and community volunteers are coordinating the event, which brings athletes from Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine and Winn parishes to compete for a gold medal and advance to state competition in Hammond May 24-26.
Last year Northwestern State was invited to be a Unified Champion School, determined by levels at which schools use three pillars — inclusive youth leaders, whole school engagement and inclusive sports – to create an inclusive school climate.
“This is the 4th year the President’s Leadership Program has hosted the Red River Games Louisiana Special Olympics,” said Reatha Cox, director of Student Affairs. Cox oversees the President’s Leadership Program that adopted Special Olympics as a student-led community impact project.
The motto of Special Olympics, which inspires thousands of communities to support the organization, is “Let me win. But if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt.”
Special Olympics Louisiana is a state-wide organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Louisiana offers year-round programs for 15,106 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in all 64 parishes with the help of 15,000 volunteers. The organization supports health, education, leadership, family, training and sports programs for people beginning at age 2 and there is no upper age limit. There is no cost to participate in Special Olympics. For more information about Special Olympics Louisiana, registering an athlete, coaching or volunteering, visit www.laso.org.
In case of rain, the Red River Special Olympics will be April 18.
In addition to PLP, this year’s sponsors include First Year Experience, NSU Police, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Department, CLECO Power, Natchitoches Lions Club, NSU Alumni Association and Natchitoches Jaycees.