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BISD Special Olympics Team Receives Celebratory Send-Off

A Special Olympics athlete smiles as he passes by fans on his way to a competition.

Members of the Belton ISD Special Olympics Bowling Team smiled from ear to ear Friday morning as they were cheered on by fans before traveling to Fort Hood to compete in an Area 12 Special Olympics competition.

“This is a great way to show our special needs students that they’re talented,” Adapted Physical Education Teacher Lauren Marx said. “It helps us promote including general and special education students together in activities.” 

The team, comprised of 22 students from Belton elementary, middle and high schools, was accompanied by 15 volunteer students who assist during competition by serving as “bowling buddies.”

Belton Cheer was one of the student groups participating in the celebratory send-off with the Magic Belles, members of the Marching 100 and football players as well as other staff and students that lined up along the team’s path. Junior cheerleaders Kaley Unberhage and Caroline Rowe eagerly showed their support for the Special Olympians. “We always cheer for football and basketball, so it’s nice to cheer for something different,” Rowe said.

“I’m glad that we could put a smile on their faces,” Unberhage said.

Kandis Brashear, 16, was one of those faces. She competed in the tournament last year and took home a gold medal. “She wore and slept with it,” Kandis’ mom Karri said. “She was so proud of herself. It gave her a sense of pride that a non-verbal child can’t express.”

Kandis Brashear, 16, and her mother Karri share a moment together.

Brashear said her daughter and fellow classmates have been practicing for weeks, creating fun opportunities that also serve educational goals.

“Just having her do this on her own is special because it’s another lesson showing her that she can be independent,” Brashear said. “It’s great to see people we don’t know cheer them on and help these kids feel and look special. It makes my mommy heart happy.”  

Go to www.bisd.net/photos to see more photos from the send-off.

Joshua Wucher
joshua.wucher@bisd.net
November 16, 2018