Return to Headlines

Northland And Beechcroft Hold Third Annual Special Olympics Preseason Basketball Fundraiser

Nov. 18, 2019 - As football season comes to an end for some schools, many student-athletes are lacing up their sneakers and are ready to hit the hardwood.

The Northland Vikings held their own against the Beechcroft Cougars in their third annual Special Olympics pre-season fundraiser basketball game, which took place in front of a packed crowd Friday evening.

“The game was kind of tiring. It was so much pressure because our team and Beechcroft, we don’t like each other," said senior Jada Bolden. "Crazy stuff was going on. We had a nice game, we played really well."

Bolden ran up and down the court playing her hardest, living up to her nickname “Tiger.”

 “That’s why they call me Tiger, because I am fast,” she said.

Basketball is one of several Special Olympics sports Columbus City Schools has to offer students.

“There are 183 Special Olympics programs in Ohio, and ours is very unique in that we have both an in-school, and evening program. The in-school is for all of our athletes that are currently enrolled in Columbus City Schools,” said John Esson, Columbus City Schools Special Olympics Coordinator.

More than 50 CCS schools and 620 students participate in Special Olympics sports, along with 200 additional athletes that participate in the evening.

“Our evening program is for our athletes once they graduate,” Esson said.

From track and field, powerlifting, softball, cheerleading, gymnastics, swimming, bowling, golf, and basketball, there are a variety of sports for students to show of their athleticism.

 “A big push with Special Olympics on an international level even is what they are calling the 'inclusion revolution.' What they found is that as Special Olympics gets more involved in school programs, not only is it wonderful for the athletes involved in the program, but also just the moral of the whole school," added Esson.

More than $700 was raised from ticket sales and a check was presented to the Columbus City Schools Special Olympics.

“We want them treated exactly the same as any other athletes would, and having all of the same opportunities.”