Special Olympics basketball game

Special Olympics basketball game

Anna Hulstedt, Reporter

Belvidere North will be hosting the third annual Special Olympics High School Hoops Invitational on Friday, November 10 in the gym. The teams in the tournament are Hononegah, Byron, RPS Muhl, and Belvidere North. Admission to the game is $5.00, but is free with a student ID. All of the proceeds will be split between participating schools.

The schedule for the game is as follows:

5:30  Doors open (concessions available)

6:00  Game 1: RPS Muhl VS Byron High School

6:45  Game 2: BNHS VS Hononegah

7:30  Losers

8:05  Winners

The basketball game is sponsored by NASR, the Northlands Association for Special Recreation at the Park District. The partnership between the Belvidere, Freeport, and Rockford Park District’s  work together to offer several activities and programs for those who participate. Some activities include movie nights, baking parties, sledding day, and more.

Special Olympics is a program designed for people ages eight and up with intellectual disabilities to participate in a variety of sporting events, including alpine skiing, badminton, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, figure skating, floor hockey, golf, gymnastics, swimming, roller skating, softball, tennis, volleyball, and more. The program has over 4.9 million athletes across 172 countries, and over a million volunteers.

One of the ways Belvidere North Special Olympic athletes can participate is to be in the basketball game this week. Volunteers from North’s Best Buddies club help volunteer at the tournament, and they are encouraging other peers to come out and cheer on North in the student section.

Last year, North first defeated the Byron Tigers, but lost their second game against the Hononegah Indians.

“I like to watch my team play, cheer for them, help them with defense and shooting, and help my team win,” said Ethan Ries (‘19), the team’s manager this year. Reis said he can’t wait for game

Along with the basketball game, there are other opportunities with Special Olympics throughout the year that students can partake in or volunteer for. One of these is the Spring Games, which takes place in early May. Over 800 athletes were a part of this regional competition at Harlem High School, playing in soccer games, running in track and field events, being in wheelchair races, and participating in the softball throw.