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Cahaba Center athletes given trophies from Special Olympics

By JUSTIN SMITH | The Selma Times-Journal

Smiles filled the room Thursday as members of the Cahaba Center’s Special Olympics program received trophies for their participation in several sports.

Each trophy included the athlete’s name and the reason they were given the award. Family and friends of the participants were all on board to show their support. Food was also served after the ceremony.

“Our program gives the participants something to excel and practice at,” services director Carrie Bearden said. “These are great hobbies that keep them very active.”

The Cahaba Center hosts many sports for adults with special needs throughout the year. Their basketball and track and field seasons have both just concluded.

The center’s track and field season is centered around a Special Olympic event that happens in Selma each spring. From there, a group of athletes gets the opportunity to run at a state track meet that takes place in Troy.

The swimming team is currently practicing for their upcoming season.

Randy Sanders is one of the athletes that got the chance to participate in the state track meet. He recalls the experience as a good one and one that he will remember for a long time.

“I enjoy playing basketball and running track,” Sanders said.

Bearden feels that Sanders is one of the most enthusiastic members of their program.

“He is always asking me questions about the Special Olympics,” Bearden said “He is always looking forward to what event we have coming up next.”

Randy’s brothers Sandy and James are also members of the track and field team.

“I love to participate in the runs and the power walks,” Sandy Sanders said.

Many citizens from Perry, Dallas and Wilcox County participate in the program. There are no limits put on the number of sports that each participant can participate in.

The Cahaba Center is always looking for more people that are willing to participate in or help with Special Olympic events. Anybody that is interested should contact them by phone at (334) 875-2100 or visit cahabamentalhealth.com.