Manassas City Hosts First Ever Special Olympics at Osbourn

Spring is in the air, and Manassas City is celebrating with a brand new annual event: Special Olympics.

“This is the first year Manassas City is hosting the Special Olympics. We have students from every City school attending (except for Baldwin intermediate – they don’t have any adapted curriculum programs). We are also hosting Manassas Park schools at our event. It is our goal to make this an annual tradition with Manassas Park hosting a fall event and Manassas City hosting a spring event,” explained event coordinator and special education teacher Mrs. Shannon Helton.

Athletes will get to participate in 9 stations with their buddies (who are mostly OHS students). The Special Olympics’ goal is to foster the inclusion of all people through sports.

Here is what the schedule will look like.

9:40 – 9:55 – Arrival

10:00 – 10:35 – Welcome and Event Kick Off

10:35 – 10:40 – Posting of the Olympic Torch

10:40 – 10:50 – Posting of Colors

  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • National Anthem
  • Athlete Oath

10:50 – 11:45 – Event Time

11:45 – 11:55 – Group Photo

11:55 – 12:00 – Eagle Boogie with the Osbourn Eagle

12:00 – Acknowledgements and Depart

“We have also tried to make this a community event. We have over 100 OHS students participating in this event to make it a success.  We have students from the following OHS groups participating:

  • Eagle Buddies, who will be our athlete’s buddies.
  • Ms. Maggie Conner’s photography students will be photographing the event.
  • Mrs. Angie Easley’s Center Stage Group will be singing the National Anthem at our opening ceremonies.
  • Coach Quynh Nguyen has organized a group of 40 students to run the various stations.
  • We also have 8 students from Ms. Cardoso’s Hispanic Latino Association volunteering to run some stations.

As part of the event, we have also organized a touch-a-truck event for the students. We will have Manassas City police, PWC Sheriff’s Office, Manassas Park Police, PWC Police, and Manassas City Fire and Rescue participating. We will also have a torch run as part of our opening ceremonies.

In addition to these groups, we have adult volunteers from around the division, including Central Office, who will be helping to make this event a success,” Helton added.

“Volunteering to help with this event definitely gets me out of my comfort zone. It will definitely help with how we see special education kids. They are able to do so much more than they may believe, ” said Sammy Kahingo, a senior volunteer.

“I am one of the adapted PE teachers. these are the kids I work with. This day is important because it gets the kids out of their norm, this is their field day. I think for some, they understand the importance, but it is more for everyone else to experience these amazing kids,” said Mrs. Mendenca.

“What we’re really promoting is an inclusive community. This is all about seeing students who are disabled and non-disabled working together,” said Mr. Bryan Maceyak, the director of special education in Manassas City.

“I love that we are bringing the community together. Growing up, I had a special education sister who was in a wheelchair. Being inclusive growing up with her was so important,”
said cheer coach Ms. Tammy Orlando

“This event helped to break down the barrier between us and special needs kids, which is so inspirational and essential,” concluded sophomore Patrick Massey.