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Editorial: Special Olympics is good for many

Farmington’s Special Olympics program is not new, but over the years it has perhaps not been as well used as it should be.

With some luck and a lot of hard work, that could change. The local group has been making a push to expand its reach in the city, and we think that’s a good thing.

There are some obvious benefits to Special Olympics. It gives athletes of all ability levels an opportunity to compete. To participate. To accomplish something they might not otherwise get to do.

Those opportunities are expanding, too. Farmington Special Olympics is in the process of adding a number of new programs this year.

There are some less obvious opportunities associated with the program. Farmington’s Special Olympics organization is in the process of launching a new group at Farmington High School that will pair students with special needs with students from the rest of the school population.

The new group will help build connections, help integrate students who might otherwise feel isolated. It will also provide leadership opportunities. It will help prepare students from both groups for life beyond high school.

It’s probably not what you think about when you think of the Special Olympics, but it’s an important program nonetheless.

None of this happens without help, of course. Farmington Special Olympics has long had a dedicated group of volunteers working to keep things running, but they can always use more people there to help carry the load. Special Olympics has ratios regarding the numbers of athletes for each coach. The more coaches there are, the more athletes can participate. And that’s good for everyone.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606