More than 200 athletes representing five counties made a big splash at the North County Aquatics Center in Sebastian last Saturday during the Special Olympics Area 10 Aquatic Games.
The mission of Special Olympics Florida is to encourage physical fitness while helping athletes build skills and friendships, enabling them to grow and share their gifts. The nonprofit provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults 8 years of age and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In Indian River County more than 500 athletes participate in 11 sports annually, including basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, cycling, equestrian, golf, sailing, soccer, softball, stand-up paddle, surfing and swimming.
During the competition, participants swam their hearts out in 76 different races ranging from 15 to 1,500 meters as they were cheered on by coaches, family and friends.
A first-place win qualifies swimmers for the upcoming State Special Olympics Aquatic Championship on Oct. 5-6. Volunteers are needed; for information, call the Indian River County Recreation Department at 772-581-7665 or visit specialolympicsflorida.org/indian-river.