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GROWTH IN 2015 SPECIAL OLYMPICS

Saturday, March 21st, served as a special day for plenty of individuals at the Okkodo track and field as the 2015 Special Olympics allowed friends, family, teachers, and schools on Guam the opportunity to give their special students a day full of activities.

By Robert Balajadia

Saturday, March 21st, served as a special day for plenty of individuals at the Okkodo track and field as the 2015 Special Olympics allowed friends, family, teachers, and schools on Guam the opportunity to give their special students a day full of activities.

“More and more schools get involved every year,” said Special Olympics Executive Directory Frank Florig. “This event isn’t geared just for the athletes, but it’s also a healing process for the community. At the end of the day, when we see the community, athletes, and sponsors walk away smiling, then we know it’s such a great healing process.”

For some of these athletes, winning a medal is the highlight of the day, but for most, the highlight of the day is just meeting new people and making new friends.

“Meeting new people from different schools, young or old, to see how they are and how they think things is my favorite part of today,” said Southern High speedster Jarron Marsal, who finished a 100m run in 14 seconds! “I met a cool guy named Moses, and I also met two little kids and I was helping to motivate them.”

Southern's Jarron Mason runs a 100m dash in 14 seconds. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Southern’s Jarron Marsal runs a 100m dash in 14 seconds. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

As far as his 14 second dash, Marsal attributed his speed to having fun.

“I hardly train for it, but if I do train I train with my brother at the park and we have fun. Sometimes I run in front of my Nana’s house,” said Marsal.

Students were allowed to participate in activities such as a 100m run, an inside bowling and basketball competition, spending and running jumps, and even ball tosses.

The day was seized by the athletes, but the family involved admitted that the day is just as enjoyable for them.

“My mission right now is to help my grandson, and he loves an event like this,” said Bernadita Aguon on her 8th grade grandson Jesse Aguon from FB Leon Guerrero middle school. “Every year we have to come to this event, we make it a point to. He has a lot of fun, and it gives me an opportunity to get out of the house and stretch the legs. [Jesse] tries really hard to win a medal every year.”

“It’s very important for us parents to be involved in an event like today because it shows them that we love our children. By joining this event, it gives them an opportunity to participate and join in on some activities,” said Amy Blas, mother of 8th grader Joel Blas also from FBLG.

FBLG 6th grader Mike Menesis poses with his favorite teacher Eileen Balajadia. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

FBLG 6th grader Mike Menesis poses with his favorite teacher Eileen Balajadia. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Thank You

Florig wanted to highlight plenty of the days sponsors, including GDOE and the GEFF for allowing the special olympics to be held at the Okkodo Field for the 5th straight year. He also wanted to thank the military and their families for donating the military tents and equipment for the games uses. Governor Eddie Baza Calvo came out to support the day, along with all the senators.

The sponsors include McDonald’s, iCan, First Hawaiian Bank, MBI, and Fashional were just some of the companies mentioned.

“We also have an amazing board of directors that come from all walks of life. This board is like no other, they roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty and just make things happen,” said Florig.

PHOTO GALLERY:

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

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