District showcases student-athletes during first Special Olympic Games

[anvplayer video=”5173057″ station=”998122″]

KIRKLAND, N.M. – It is giving the children at Central Consolidated School District something to talk about.

“We get to do Special Olympics, and we are doing our kickball event,” said Jay Boushee, principal of Kirkland Elementary School.

Five schools in the Four Corners are each holding a different sporting event where students with disabilities show off their skills.

“It really levels that playing field, they can showcase their abilities, and they can focus on what they can do and not what they can’t. And so any disability fades away, and it’s just about the students’ athletes, and their teams, and the bravery of coming out here and competing,” Student Support Services Facilitator, Tatia Fernandez said.

It’s also about what you learn on the field.

“Sportsmanship, play-based learning, competition, sports training, physical fitness just so many different elements and that they are able to just work together. Acceptance, tolerance, inclusion so many things that they are learning at one time while they are having fun,” Enrichment Teacher, Aerial Liesce said.

And the hope is that this fun will catch on.

“My goal would be that this would be a little event that we have, and it’s not real big and then suddenly Judy Nelson Elementary, in the Kirkland area come play against us and say ‘Hey we got a team, we’ve got a team let’s play.’ Really to make this bigger, to make this county large,” said Liesce.

The next game will be a bocce ball event at Kirtland Central High School on April 26.