LAWRENCE — On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, Tewksbury students participated in the 26th annual Lawrence School Day Games at Lawrence Veterans Stadium in Lawrence. This event was sponsored by New Balance, and run by volunteers and school staff members. The Lawrence School Day Games event is part of the Special Olympics program.
The Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968 for persons with physical and intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential for growth through participation of sport events.
The Lawrence School Day Games are unlike other Summer or Winter Special Olympic games because the students compete as part of a school or organization team rather than as individual olympians.
This is the first year students from the Wynn Middle School have attended this event. The Wynn School Developmental Learning Center (DLC) is led by Rick Camire, and athletes from this program proudly joined in this year’s event with other participating Tewksbury schools.
The TMHS DLC and Leap Program, led by Patrick Galligan and Ann McGregor Fay, along with the Ryan School DLC, led by Sandra Ferrara, have been in attendance to this event for more than 10 years. Students from the North Street DLC, led by Christine Strickler, started attending this event last year.
This year’s School Day Games had more than 600 participants from area public school programs including Tewksbury, Lowell, Lawrence, Lynn, and Haverhill. Athletes from collaborative programs such as CREST and Valley Collaborative were also in attendance.
Parents, siblings, family members, teachers and other school professionals, as well as School Committee members attended to cheer on the athletes.
Ryan School DLC leader Sandra Ferrara said, “Watching the pride come across the students’ faces as they finish an event and the parent’s face as their athlete runs into their arms is why we love what we do. There is not a better day than this!”
Athletes participated in six events: the Run/Walk Race, the Football Throw, Soccer Ball Kick, Tennis Ball and Javelin Throw, the Long Jump and an Obstacle Course. Medals were earned by all athletes participating in these events.
The Lawrence School Day Games celebrates these special and amazing athletes, and gives them a much needed boost for their self esteem. Having their family, friends and community cheer them on to be successful in these sport events will stay with them, leading to success in their daily lives.