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Special Olympics softball tournament brings athletes together

264 athletes on 21 teams participated in a Special Olympics Missouri softball tournament Saturday in Savannah.

Posted: Jul. 31, 2018 2:27 PM

SAVANNAH - 264 athletes on 21 teams participated in a Special Olympics Missouri softball tournament Saturday in Savannah. It was a chance to bring athletes from northwest Missouri together to play a sport they love.

"It's a blast, I really enjoy playing. I look forward to it every year," athlete Jeremy Kingsley said.

Collin Garrison from Park Hill says, "It's really cool to be around friends. Old friends, new friends."

Kingsley adds, "Showing good sportsmanship with the other athletes and teaching new people how to play."

Coach of the St. Joseph Sluggers, Kathy Grossman knows how special it is to be involved with the special olympics.

"It's an honor to be here as a coach. These are amazing athletes, they never have a bad day, they are always here to have fun and always here to do their best. " Grossman adds, "When we get ready to go to state, I always tell the guys there are some teams that didn't qualify to go to state. So it's an honor to go to state and represent Buchanan County and St. Joe Sluggers."

Setting up an event like this, requires a lot of effort and help from the community. Luckily for Program Director of Special Olympics Missouri Jess Neely, she got the help she needed.

"We have like our EMS and the Knights of Columbus that come help. We have the church here in Savannah. First Christian Church I believe has provided all of our lunches today which is really cool. So, kind of just a group effort that these things happen."

Neely adds its rewarding to see all of the athletes compete at these events.

"Truly it's just seeing these athletes being able to compete at a sport they love. It's just, it's a good experience."

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