The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

Continuing athletics through the largest sports organization

Dawson Ansley and his two friends, Travis and Mike.

   There are 39 areas that participate in Special Olympics Michigan. Special Olympics is the largest sports organization for both adults and children. 

   This non-profit holds the mission to provide year-round athletic training for those who have cognitive impairments or physical disabilities. The participants are all placed in divisions dependent on age, gender, and ability. 

   Special Olympics Michigan has about 19,305 athletes, with 24 sports to choose from. These games range from common athletics, such as basketball and golf, to rare athletics like bocce and horseshoes. 

   There are approximately 2,044 coaches for the sports they offer. Athletes train and prepare for these competitions several months out of the year, for a few days’ experience. Junior Dawson Ansley is a participant in Special Olympics Michigan.  

   ¨Every time I  practice my goal is to improve in some way,¨ said Ansley. 

   Ansley competes in track, soccer, and basketball with track being his favorite. Special Olympics Michigan offers track events like hurdles, 100-meter dash, marathons, high jump, long jump, shot put, and relays; as well as various wheelchair activities. 

   ¨I like track because it is outside, I get to run and feel the wind,” said Ansley. 

   This athlete trained for these events since he was in elementary school. His mother was his main source of inspiration to start training with Special Olympics Michigan. She motivated him to continue to push on through the several practices.

Ansley with his medal after competing.

   ¨My mom wanted me to be active, so she started me in the program,¨ said Ansley. 

   Through Special Olympics Michigan, those ages eight and older can participate, although for those ages two to seven they have a program for them as well called the Special Olympics Young Athletes. 

   Due to the wide variety of athletes who partake, it leaves several relationships to be made. Ansley mentions that meeting new people through training and events is one of the top highlights of this organization. 

   Ansley puts in several hours of work all to prepare for their specific game. The emotions during training strengthen the bond he has with his teammates. 

 ¨It is a great program, I highly encourage anyone interested in staying active to go join,¨ said Ansley. ¨I have built several relationships along with expanding my physical abilities through training.¨

   They also follow professional sports times, with seasons deciding on what events are to be held. 

   This organization wants to ensure that their sporting events are mostly aligned with high school sports. They have their games spread out over several days, similar to a tournament, but much shorter than The Olympics. 

   Not only does this program allow differently-abled people to participate in an assortment of sports, but it also helps them create special bonds and friendships with people alike.

About the Contributor
Rachel Keeler
Rachel Keeler, Opinion Editor
Rachel is a Senior who loves food, naps, and showing her horse, Collin!    “To the windoooowwwwwww, to the walllllll” -Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz