TCU campus ministry sees large turnout at Special Olympics

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    Maverick Stadium was filled with over 3,000 participants and volunteers from the greater Fort Worth area for the 2015 Special Olympics Spring Games on Saturday.

    The games were hosted for the first time by TCU’s Chi Alpha, a campus ministry.

    Special Olympics Texas is divided into four regions and is host to five different games and competitions throughout the year.

    Members of Chi Alpha were assigned to cheer on the competitors during the track and field events on Saturday during the Spring Games events.

    Athletes had to be at least eight years old to participate and also be diagnosed with an intellectual disability or cognitive delays.

    Participants jumped into the arms of Chi Alpha members with smiles of joy as they crossed the finish line. After the races were done participants enjoyed other events like karaoke, dancing, and bonding games.

    Kimber Sides, a campus minister at TCU, said her favorite part about the event is seeing the joy and smiles on all of the participant’s faces.

    “It’s the fact that they are so happy at doing anything,” Sides said. “It kind of puts me in perspective.”

    Dale Land, a retired firefighter and third-year Special Olympics volunteer, said he was grateful for Chi Alpha and their contribution.

    “They’re the kind of people I see replacing me,” Land said. “I think it’s awesome they came because they’re the future.”

    Land said he thinks it’s a privilege to volunteer and loves coming out every year.

    “It’s the kids, the expressions on their face, and their enthusiasm,” he said. “It’s a privilege to be on the same track as these Olympic athletes.”