They ran, they jumped, they threw – they even ran across benches and weaved through cones while balancing badminton birdies on rackets.
And that was just a taste of last Friday’s Elementary Special Track and Field Meet, hosted by the Surrey School District at South Surrey Athletic Park.
The one-day meet featured nearly 200 special-needs athletes from 37 Surrey schools – and hundreds of teachers, parents and other volunteers – and saw students compete in races of various distances, long jump, softball toss, T-ball and an obstacle course.
“It just is a way to get kids with special needs involved (in track and field), too,” said event organizer and William Watson Elementary principal Margaret Geddes, who founded the event four years ago while at Bayridge Elementary.
“We just had this idea, myself and the teachers there, to host a track meet for children with special needs to promote fitness and participation for all kids, and to give them a chance to wear their school jerseys.”
Since the first meet was held four years ago, it has more than doubled in size.
“All the schools who have attended, they want to come back, and then more and more schools are hearing about it and wanting to be a part of it,” Geddes said.