By Danita Boonchaisri
PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (March 12, 2009) - On Saturday, March 14, Calvert County's seven Special Olympics basketball teams will compete in local qualifying rounds and vie for the honor of winning a spot at the statewide competition to be held at the Capital Sports Complex on March 21.
The local competition takes place at Huntingtown High School from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and involves teams from Calvert, St. Mary's, Charles, Baltimore and Montgomery counties.
Like all sports enthusiasts, these athletes share camaraderie, sportsmanship, skills training exercises and a sense of pride for a game well-played. And, while they work with the added challenge of having intellectual disabilities, some with physical disabilities as well, their dedication and passion for the sport rival that of any seasoned athlete.
For Special Olympians, the athlete oath speaks volumes: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." It's an impressive aspiration and a fine example of sportsmanship for us all.
Special Olympics chapters around the world have helped more than 2.5 million people with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. The Calvert County chapter offers training and competitive opportunities in aquatics, bowling, floor hockey, softball, soccer and track & field, in addition to basketball. Many athletes participate in more than one sport and they, like many young athletes, find their time on the court, in the pool, at the bowling alley or on the field to be the highlight of the week.
For more information on the March 14 basketball tournament, or the services provided by Calvert County Special Olympics, visit online at www.somdcalvert.org, e-mail Anne Harmon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-535-2857. The tournament is free for spectators, and all are welcomed to join the festivities.