ELKTON — More than 100 athletes came to Elkton High School on Monday to compete in the Cecil County Special Olympics Spring Games.
First held in 1974, this year’s track and field event hosted 108 athletes from 12 organizations, including 10 schools as well as Shorehaven, Inc., and Bayside Community Network. The athletes competed in 16 events, including 15-meter walk, 400-meter dash, standing long jump, softball throw, bocce and more.
“I enjoy the athletes, and their happiness makes my life better,” said Patsy Temple, finance coordinator and coach for the Cecil County Special Olympics. “There is no problem in my life compared to the ones the athletes have.”
Aiding the athletes on Monday were 169 buddies from Elkton High School and 24 from the Tome School’s Honor Society. Union Hospital provided the day’s food court.
For one of the buddies, Jaion Braywood, a junior at Elkton High School, the day made a big impression on him as he assisted classmate Jonathan Bamberger in a motorized wheelchair.
“I have seen Jonathan in school, but never really spent any time with him,” Braywood said. “I will definitely be spending time with him from now on. It was a lot of fun. He was so excited when he won his two gold medals.”
Braywood assisted Bamberger in the 25-meter motorized race and in bocce. He said he would definitely volunteer again next year.
“It is a lot of hard work with a lot of volunteer hours, but the joy the athletes get from this event makes it all worth it,” Temple said.