Life Skills Students Attend Special Olympics Basketball Game


Amanda Wells

Life Skills students lay in the game. They attended the match at Gilmer High School.

Kylie Hester, Co-Editor-in-Chief

She dribbles to the line and shoots the ball, the shouts of the crowd fills her ears. Time seems to move in slow motion as the ball soars through the air. Finally, it swoops through the hoop with a swish of the net. Her heart fills with  joy since she made her first shot this year. She turns her wheelchair around and high fives the player behind her.

The Life Skills students attended a Special Olympics basketball game Jan. 26 at Gladewater High School. They plan to attend a track meet April 14 at Gilmer High School.

“It feels really good to help these kids out,” coach Christy Bateman. “Competition has been leveled out and it gives them an opportunity to compete with their peers with the same abilities.”

Special Olympics is an international organization that allows adaptive physical activities for special needs students and adults. The students practiced multiple times before going to the competition in order to be prepared.

“It’s great for them to socialize with other kids that look just like them,” Bateman said. “Taking part in the Special Olympics instills hard work with them.”

Sophomore Kenleigh Hamilton scored 8 points, had 2 rebounds and 1 assist. Lindale overall placed second, with Kilgore coming in first. 

“It was good,” Hamilton said. “I liked scoring the points against the other teams.”

Bateman teaches an adaptive PE class for the Life Skills students. In it, the students learn how to play different sports using more adaptive equipment. The equipment they use is safer and softer, making it easier to use.

“I love playing sports,” Hamilton said. “It is a lot of fun.”