Approximately 180 Special Olympics Southern California athletes competed in swimming competitions at the Ventura Regional Spring Games this past weekend on May 18 at Oaks Christian High School. The pool saw more than enough action as the races began at 10 a.m. and went well into the afternoon.
The volunteer presence was also significant, with nearly 100 people helping out with competitions. These volunteers were made up mostly of Oaks Christian High School students and National Charity League members. From keeping time, cheering on and escorting athletes to the award podium, they were a consistent, positive presence to the athletes throughout the day.
With Summer Games less than three weeks away, many athletes were using this day as preparation for the big event. Ashley Singleton, a Special Olympics athlete from Ventura, cannot wait for her chance to compete in June.
“I’m mostly excited for swimming and [the athlete dance]. Really mostly everything,” said Ashley, who is slated to compete in the 25-meter butterfly, 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter individual medley races.
As the competitions wound down there was no lack of energy – athletes were hugging and cheering for each other the entire day, many of them exclaiming with delight the number of medals they had won throughout the day. Each SOSC event is a reminder of all the good that can come from being inclusive and kind to one another, and this event was no exception.
Inside the SOSC is a blog managed by staff member Tracy McDannald. SOSC volunteer Tessa Sechler contributed to this report. It is a more feature-style approach to looking inside what makes Special Olympics Southern California so unique, so special. It is meant to explore the people and their stories. One word at a time.