UPDATE: This event has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.
The annual Special Olympics Kansas State Basketball and Cheerleading Tournament takes place March 14 and 15 at Washburn Rural High School for athletes with Intellectual Disabilities (ID).
More than 800 athletes ranging in age from 6- to 78-years-old are expected to take part in sports competition throughout the weekend as well as participate in health screenings which are provided at no cost to the athletes.
Competition will take place at Topeka’s Washburn Rural schools including the high school, middle school and Jay Shideler Elementary School.
A total of 881 athletes and 82 coaches will be in attendance along with many more friends and families in the stands to cheer on the teams as they compete in basketball skills, cheerleading and stunting, and basketball team play.
Special Olympics Kansas is also looking for volunteers to serve as referees and score keepers. All volunteer training is provided on site. Anyone interested should contact Chris Burt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 913-236-9290 ext. 107.
Basketball is the most popular of 20 sports offered annually by Special Olympics Kansas to individuals with ID; more than 2,000 athletes compete in local and regional basketball competitions leading up to the state tournament.
In addition to the tournament, athletes will have the opportunity Saturday to take part in free dental screenings offered by health professionals.
Athletes will receive education on oral hygiene and receive personal care items all at no cost.
For many individuals with ID dental care is not often a priority and can take a back seat to more pressing health issues.
For more information about the 2020 State Basketball and Cheerleading Tournament visit ksso.org.
Special Olympics Kansas (SOKS) is dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports competitions, health and nutrition programs and leadership development.
2020 State Basketball and Cheerleading Partners include the following: Knights of Columbus, Casey’s General Store, Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Kansas, Fort Hays State University, Washburn Rural School District, and Dane G Hansen Foundation.
SOKS is a non-profit organization supported almost entirely by corporate and individual gifts, and events. The generosity of Kansas organizations, individuals and statewide businesses enable the program to continue. Special Olympics’ goal is to create a world where every single person is accepted and welcomed. Together, we are helping to make the world a better, healthier, and more joyful place — one athlete, one volunteer, one family member and one plunger at a time.