Special Olympics looks for fans in the stands

Sports Editor

It could be something as small as a word of encouragement as an athlete steps up to the plate at this year’s Special Olympics Kansas State Softball and Golf Tournament.

Game and tournament coordinators are desperately looking for fans to pack the stands and support the organization. The event begins Aug. 1 at Two Rivers Youth Club fields in northwest Wichita.

Four hundred Special Olympic athletes are expected to compete in a softball tournament and separate golf tournament this year. Coordinators say that because many participants are traveling without their support system. It is crucial for the public and volunteers to come fill the stands and cheer for the athletes.

“Many Special Olympics teams do not have family who can travel with them and cheer them on,” Clint Armistead, Director of Sports of SOKS said. “Therefore, area residents have a unique opportunity to fill the bleachers and support Special Olympics by being ‘Fans in the Stands.’”

Armistead said this is important because support from the community can impact a team’s performance.

The tournament is sponsored by High Touch, Inc., an organization centered around community involvement. President and CEO Wayne Chambers said he is delighted to be a part of this event.

“At High Touch, we feel it is important to be active participants in the community and giving back through efforts, as this is one of those initiatives,” he said.

Chambers said his employees showed a commitment by raising enough money through fundraising to pay for the event this year.

Event coordinators invite anyone who is able, to attend the games. Tournament game play begins at 8 a.m. Aug. 2 and lasts until 3 p.m. On Sunday, games will go from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information, contact Donna Zimmerman, Senior Vice President for the Special Olympics at (913) 236-9290, ext. 112.