Special Olympics basketball teams are beginning their practices at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center.
The Hannibal Special Olympics team practice 4:30-5:30 -p.m. Wednesdays starting Nov. 2 and practice through March. Jenna McDonald, recreation supervisor at Hannibal Parks & Recreation, said, “We are honored to give these athletes a place to play each week.”
The Rec Center stays open to the public while practice is going on, however a court is reserved for Special Olympics.
The entire team is called Hannibal Hawks Special Olympics team. The members are divided into smaller teams, depending on skill level. Some teams play 3-on-3 games and some teams practice dribbling, shooting and passing. They have several tournaments planned for the year, including one in January and March.
Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization: with nearly 4 million athletes in more than 170 countries. Kathy Butler, community coordinator for Marion County Services for the Developmentally Disabled, said the athletes discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success as they play sports.
She is seeking coaches to help at practices and games, and can be contacted at 712-355-0012. “Once you volunteer with these athletes, a whole new world opens up,” she said.