Carbon County Special Olympians compete at Jim Thorpe Memorial Hall
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS While his fellow athletes and Assistant Coach Oscar Santizo look on, Special Olympian Brian Haselden shoots a puck during the Shot Around Goal Competition which tests the speed and accuracy of the athlete.
The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Carbon County Floor Hockey Skills Competition was held in the skating rink at Memorial Hall in Jim Thorpe.
About 15 eager athletes participated in the competition which tests their skills in passing, shooting, agility, and defensive play.
John Karnish, Head Coach of Special Olympics Carbon County, said that the athletes look forward to the competitions and have a wonderful time participating in them.
Along with the floor hockey program, the Special Olympians also train and compete in other sports such as bowling, basketball, and track and field programs.
Special Olympics is the world's largest program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
It currently serves more than 2.5 million persons with intellectual disabilities in more than 180 countries.
It is a year round program, with different sports offered each season and is free to all participants, both children and adults.
Following the motto of "let me win, but if I can not win, let me be brave in the attempt", the Special Olympics Program is based on the belief that through sports training and competition, people with intellectual disabilities benefit physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.
Families are strengthened; and the community at large, both through participation and observation, is united in understanding people with intellectual disabilities in an environment of equality, respect, and acceptance.
In addition, the athletes have opportunities to make new friends, enjoy new experiences, develop confidence and know the pride of accomplishment.