Special Olympics athletes ready for meet

SIDNEY — More than 100 athletes will gather Saturday, April 28, at Sidney Middle School for the Shelby County Special Olympics annual track and field day.

Volunteers and athletes will arrive at noon with opening ceremonies planned to begin at 1 p.m. The parade of athletes, led by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard presenting the American flag, will open the event.

The National Anthem will be performed by a special guest. Lesli Davis and Jamie Roddy will carry the banner during the opening ceremonies. Calvin Cooley will lead the athletes in saying the Special Olympic Oath — “Let me win, if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” After the oath, the meet will be declared open by Cooley.

The awards given to the athletes will be presented by U.S. Marine Cpl. Ryan Garza, retired, and U.S. Navy Senior Chief Chris Gates, retired. Gates is a native of Botkins.

“This is a great experience to share with your family,” said organizer Mark Harrod. “We’de love the see the community come out and cheer for our athletes. I guarantee you will leave with more love than you came with.”

Admission to the event is free. A concession stand will be available and T-shirts will be for sale.