ACS, PCS students compete together during United Track and Field

Published 4:52 pm Monday, April 15, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Students dashed across the field as the crowd clapped and cheered them on during Alabaster City Schools and Pelham City Schools United Track and Field.

ACS and PCS hosted its United Track and Field event on Friday, April 5 at Thompson High School—providing a day of celebration as special education students from both systems competed in a variety of fun athletics.

“We always look forward to doing this together,” said Karen Evans, an adaptive physical education teacher for Alabaster City Schools. “It’s always big for us. We enjoy it.”

At United Track and Field, students walked onto the track one school at a time while holding up a banner displaying the name of each school.

During the annual celebration, around 89 students from ACS and 45 from PCS participated in a variety of athletic activities that concluded with an awards ceremony.

“We’ve been partnering with Alabaster for a while now and it’s great,” said Jessica Brown, a special education teacher at Pelham Park Middle School. “It’s fun too, to be able to have another school to partner with especially with them being right down the road.”

During event, students were able to challenge themselves with a 50 meter run or walk with options for assistance and wheelchair users, as well as a 100 meter, 200 meter, 300 meter and 400 meter run. The event also saw participants engage in softball throws and tennis ball throws.

“Our goal is just to get all of those special needs kids out there, give them a chance to compete on their own (and) they always walk away with some type of award,” Evans said.

In addition to the main Olympic events, a representative from each school participated in an Olympic torch run with assistance from the Alabaster Police Department and Pelham Police Department. Markel Washington carried the torch for Pelham City Schools and Sam Dasinger carried the torch for Alabaster City Schools.

Each school system also had a group of students assist during the event, known as “peer buddies.”

“Alabaster does a really good job—they had their peer buddies set up games with footballs and hula hoops and bubbles and a lot of different activities for all the athletes to be able to have some fun and enjoy the day,” Brown said.

Students in attendance were also able to enjoy cornhole, horseshoes, ladder ball and music as well as enjoy an award ceremony.

“The kids most favorite thing (was) being able to get a ribbon and stand on the podium,” Brown said. “They love being able to stand out there with their ribbon.”

Brown expressed her gratitude for those who helped to make the event possible.

“(We’re) very thankful for our city and also Alabaster City School for holding this event for us,” Brown said.

Both school systems partner for a number of events throughout year including a special Olympics bowling event and the upcoming annual Gone Fishin’ Not Just Wishin’ event which will take place on Wednesday, May 8 at Oak Mountain State Park.