More than 40 Special Olympics teams from across the state competed in a football tournament in Owasso on Wednesday.
Organizers said these players know the real value of the sport.
“It’s just as competitive as any other sport you’ve played before,” said John Seals of Special Olympics Oklahoma.
It’s a very warm welcome back to the in-person events for Special Olympics Oklahoma. Players have come from all over the state to be a part of the games. The teams are made up of players with and without intellectual disabilities.
“We think it adds so much to people’s lives to go out and compete and we haven’t had to do that for almost two years now,” Seals said. “We have 46 teams here from across the state.”
COVID-19 has changed the way these games play out. The public is not allowed to come and watch and cheer on the players, it’s just the family, the players and the coaches but whatever the changes the kids were having a blast.
The referees are volunteering their time to be here, saying these games are what the sport should be.
“It’s for the true love of the sport – it’s not playing for money, it’s not playing for a college scholarship, it’s not people spending all their money to take their kids to all over the country – they’re playing for the love of the game, ”Seals said.