Special Olympics holds track peer meeting

Elaine Zhou, Staff Writer

Special Olympics held a track peer meeting on Feb. 23. 

Special Olympics is a program where high school students with special needs compete with likewise students in various sports. District 203’s program plays three sports: basketball, bowling and track. 

The meeting recruited students to work with the athletes after participation declined due to COVID-19.

“A lot of the athletes are [at] high risk [for COVID], so our participation declined slightly and Special Olympics kind of went on hold,” Special Olympics coach Kristina Hagenbaumer said. “We’re trying to get the word out again to make it as big as it used to be and make it as fun and exciting.”

Special Olympics has athletes from Central, Naperville North and Connections, a four year post-high school program for students with special needs. 

“We want to rebuild the program and foster the relationships between our regular [education] population and our special needs population,” Hagenbaumer said. “At the end of the day, it’s not about how well [the athletes] perform; It’s about how much fun they have and [to] give them an extracurricular activity to participate in.”