18th Annual BPS-Special Olympics School Day Games Held May 1st
More than 400 students in Grades 1-12 competed in the region’s
largest district-wide Special Olympics competition
Rocky Marciano Stadium at Brockton High School hosted more than 400 Brockton Public Schools student-athletes May 1st in the district’s 18th annual Special Olympics School Day Games. One of the city’s premier events, the School Day Games highlight the best of the City of Champions, as special needs students and regular education students team up in athletic competitions.
“The School Day Games is my favorite day of the year,” said Special Education Director Laurie Mason. “All of the students are excited and happy, they are motivated and proud of their accomplishments, and we get to share that as a school community – among students, staff, parents and the many volunteers from Special Olympics and its sponsors.”
The day of track and field competition began at 9:45 a.m. with an emotional Opening Ceremony: students from each of the city’s elementary, middle and high schools processed into the 10,000-seat stadium behind their school banner as the Brockton High School JROTC provided a color guard and representatives of the Brockton Fire Departments Fife and Drum Band played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes. After the torch was run into the arena, everyone joined the BHS Boxer Buddies in singing the national anthem. The Davis and Brookfield singers teamed up for “God Bless America” and “This Little Light of Mine,” and then the games were officially opened.
“The School Day Games is one of the greatest events we hold all year, and you can see why when you see the faces of the kids marching proudly into the stadium,” said Interim Superintendent John Jerome. “It’s the joy of inclusion, of competition and recognition. Every student tries their hardest, and every student earns a medal for their efforts. It is a very special day.”
Students competed in a number of individual and unified events from shot put contests to 100-meter relay races. Some of the activities were tailored to children with specific disabilities, like wheelchair races and bean bag tosses. Special needs students train for the events in their Physical Education classes for weeks leading up to the event, and the day is a celebration for them, their teachers and their families.
“Every athlete competes in at least two events, and all of the participants go home a winner, with a medal around their neck,” Mason said. “This event takes an enormous amount of planning and coordination, and I want to thank the Special Olympics, the many businesses who sponsored the event and provided volunteers, Peter Caruso and the staff of the BPS Physical Education Department and all of the Special Education Department teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals and administrative assistants, who put their time, effort and energy into making sure that every child had a memorable day.”