Troy University hosts State Special Olympics

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nearly 1,000 athletes, supported by about 350 coaches and chaperones, will compete May 15 – 17 in the Special Olympics Alabama State Games at Troy University.

This year’s event marks the ninth straight year Troy has hosted the event. This year’s theme is “United We Win.”

“Hosting the games on campus and in the community provides a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the facilities we have both on campus and in Troy and provides an opportunity to show our Trojan Spirit to the visitors we have each year,” said Herb Reeves, dean of student services at Troy University.

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The weekend will kick off with the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run on Friday, May 15. Law enforcement officers from all over the state will bring the torch into Troy around 2 p.m.

Competitions will include 10 sports and will be conducted both on the Troy Campus and at venues in the city of Troy. Activities begin with the opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. Friday in Trojan Arena. The ceremony will include a parade of athletes, special welcomes and entertainment.

Sporting events begin at 9 a.m. Saturday. Sport events include swimming, gymnastics, equestrian, bowling, track and field, softball, cycling, bocce, power lifting, flag football and golf. A Victory Dance will be held Saturday night.

Closing ceremonies will be conducted Sunday and will include a memorial service for those athletes who have died in the past year.

“The athletes are very excited to be returning to Troy,” Reeves said. “They give their very best each time they compete; therefore Troy does its very best to provide venues and an atmosphere that highlights the winning spirit of these athletes.

“Not only would we extend an invitation for students and community members to participate in the special ceremonies, but volunteers are very important in order to make this event a success.”

Reeves said that Troy University is able to host this event thanks to the volunteers who step up and give their time and efforts for the Special Olympics.

“This is a very rewarding experience for all involved and provides an opportunity of service to the athletes, coaches and chaperones that compete each year,” Reeves said.

The State Games are coordinated through the university and community volunteers, and Reeves said volunteers are needed to help in various venues and events. To volunteer, contact Reeves at 334-670-3203 or via email at

“We invite you to visit, cheer or volunteer to assist the athletes in having the best time ever. Your interest and help is greatly appreciated,” he said.