COVID is no longer keeping Special Olympics Athletes sidelined in Monroe County. After three years, the track and field competition is back at East Stroudsburg South High School.
David Santana’s excitement is what it’s all about.
East Stroudsbrug South High School Special Olympics Assistant Coach Michele Saffer says, "Oh it makes my heart happy. He’s a great kid. This is my first year with him and to see his face light up when he got his first place that was just, it made my heart cry."
He’s one of 500 athletes competing in the Northampton County Special Olympics Track and Field Event today at East Stroudsburg South High School for the first time since 2019.
East Stroudsbrug South High School Special Olympics Coach Aimee Ellison says, "We’re coming off of a three-year hiatus in. The kids have been just chomping at the bit to be a part of this great day again. I have such great volunteers, my students that are helping. It is just a great day of inclusion throughout the whole entire district and our community, Northampton County and Monroe County."
Students ages six through 21 took part in several track events as well as softball throw, standing long jump, shot put and javelin.
Ellison says, "For our students that do not have the opportunity to be on a sports team, this is their opportunity to have a sport."
And the school is pulling out all of the stops to welcome everybody back and ensure they have a great time in between the events. There’s even bounce houses.
Special Olympics Event Coordinator Rick Agretto says, "East Stroudsburg South really makes it special for them, there’s a lot of activities that are going on here and be with other kids from other schools. I think it’s really neat."
While the athletes are all receiving ribbons, the student helpers also feel like winners.
East Stroudsburg South High School Senior Ella Krajewski says, "After hearing about this event for three years and finally being able to be here today, it’s just amazing to see how everything came together."
East Stroudsburg South High School Senior Collin McAllister says, "I love being involved with these kids, they make me happy every day."
Spreading smiles in Monroe County, Nicole Walters, News13.