Cape hosts Special Populations Games Day on Saturday
By DREW WINCHESTER
The scene was one of celebration, of wild hope, of good times and fun competition.
The 26th Annual Games Day, an event that focuses on sports and activities for those with developmental disabilities, was a resounding success on Saturday, with more than 120 participants taking part in the day’s action.
Held at the Special Populations Center at Sun Splash, adult and child athletes alike tried their hands at tennis, an obstacle course, a bicycle race and some impromptu dancing.
“This shows the community what a wonderful program we have under the Parks and Recreation Department,” said Laurie Wolfe, of the Special Populations Center. “Games Day is for recreation, fun, health and fitness.”
Like a lot of city programs, the Special Populations Center might be facing some cuts do to budgetary constraints.
Wolfe made it a point to say that Special Populations really reaches out to the community throughout the year, looking for sponsorship help for their varied events, and that the city council, along with many city divisions, have been very supportive of the Special Populations’ efforts.
“Everybody throughout the city has been wonderful … we couldn’t do it without them,” Wolfe said. “At the same time we do everything we can do to get sponsorships. Its really a collaborative effort.”
This year’s sponsor was Angela Davis, who works for Merrill Lynch. Returning for her third year, Davis has a deep connection to the event. Her daughter, Chloe, is special-needs child.
“I made a commitment to them. As long as they need me and as long as I’m able I’ll be here,” she said. “These kids don’t know about the economy … we’re trying to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”
Davis, along with the Special Populations Center, hopes to expand the event in the future. Right now, Games Day is only open to those who are registered with Special Populations, but Davis hopes to change that.
“We’re always looking for more sponsors. Its my hope to see this grow into a community event,” she said.
While the day’s focus was on games, Wolfe said that camaraderie and exercise are at the heart of the activities, not competition.
She said it was important that every one of the participants was awarded for their efforts.
“Everybody gets a medal. Everybody here is a winner,” Wolfe said.