Special Olympics Play Day


Paxton Devault

Suzie Miller posing for a picture with one of her group members during the Special Olympics.

Ellie Perrine

Katelyn Gwennap , Co-Editor-in-Chief

Thomas Jefferson High School hosted a Special Olympics Iowa Play Day on November 1st. Council Bluffs and surrounding elementary school athletes participated in activities with a little help from TJ student team leaders.

The Special Olympics allows the kids to get active, and get involved, in athletics while being in a safe environment.

“We are the only ones in southwest Iowa,” said Coach Nicole Vetter, the southwest Iowa coordinator. “No other group of students get the opportunity to volunteer like this each year.”

Stations with different activities established and athletes collect their stickers that showed they completed each station.

The team leaders were given sheets with their group member’s names on them and places for the students to place a sticker when they complete each event.

The volunteers were either team leaders, awards, in charge of lunch, or in charge of one specific stations.

There were a total of 20 teams and 21 stations. Some examples of the stations were bowling, soccer kick, basketball, ribbon dancing, and so many more.

“We had one group drive an hour and a half to get her (the student) to participate,” said Vetter.

The games are not about winning, that’s why the kids don’t get awards off of how well they did, they get an award for getting out and being active and participating in all of the events.

Vetter said that she got involved in the Special Olympics through volunteering.

“When the position opened up for the Special Olympics coordinator for the district, I applied and I got it,” said Vetter.

Vetter has been the Special Olympics district coordinator for 8 years.