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Special Olympics is April 21
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The Kershaw County Special Olympics will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 21 at Camden Military Academy.

Kershaw County Special Olympics is one of the programs offered by Special Olympics South Carolina Area 7.  This year some 204 athletes from 24 district classes plus 44 Special Education students accompanied by 23 district staff members are registered to participate. Athletes representing the Kershaw County Board of Special Disabilities will also be competing. 

Contestants in need of assistance while competing or getting from station to station will be provided “participant buddies” -- student volunteers chosen from the various schools.  To bond and interact with the special needs athletes is considered a great honor for the “buddies.”   

Student ages 8 to 21 may compete in two games only. Choices include a 50 and 100-meter run, 100-meter walk and a softball or tennis ball throw (best of three tosses). Events offered for athletes requiring assistance include a 50-meter assisted wheelchair race, 50-meter walker race, ramp assisted bowling ball toss, technically assisted ball toss and a switch assisted golf ball toss. 

Games for young athletes ages 3-7 will be held in the school gym and include a 50-meter run,  assisted run, walk or walker heats, tennis ball throw, standing long jump, and a soccer kick.

For those who want to follow the athletes’ police-escorted school buses, plan to meet at the K-Mart parking lot on West DeKalb Street at 8:30 am. Others may want to be stationed at the Camden IGA on Hwy 1 North at 8:45 am to watch the annual Torch Run to the entrance of the academy. Anyone interested making the run should contact Sharon Cole at  

Helping to carry the Flame of Hope, representing Inclusion and Acceptance for those with intellectual disabilities, will be two event athletes from each of the district's high schools plus runners from the community. 

The torch carrier, whose name has been randomly selected from the student runners, will light the Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony at 9 a.m. Before the games officially begin participants will say the Special Olympics Athlete Oath written by Eunice Shriver: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

The closing ceremony will also recognize the event’s donors and sponsors, whose support help underwrite the costs of sending County athletes to SC Special Olympic state-level competitions. 

If you can’t attend, please consider supporting their future competitions by writing a check payable to Special Olympics and mailing it to Dawn Carnell, 2187 Tickle Hill Road Camden, SC 29020.