Letter: Elevated competition allowed Special Olympics softball team to improve

The Topeka Stars recently returned with the gold medal from the North American Special Olympics Softball Championships on August 18-20 in Bismarck, N.D. (Facebook)

The Topeka Stars Special Olympics Team would like to thank the players, teams, officials and staff that participated in the Lower ‘13 Softball League run by the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Department this summer. The Stars recently returned with the gold medal from the North American Special Olympics Softball Championships that were held in Bismarck, ND August 18-20.

The 14 young men making up the team owe a great measure of gratitude to the teams in the league who took them seriously and treated them as peers on the softball diamond. Giving them an elevated level of competition allowed these athletes to improve their softball skills and work as a team. While the final scores may not have made the season look very successful, the experience was unequalled in giving these young men the chance to be seen as athletes and to not be judged by the labels that have been put on them. It gave them an opportunity to excel.

The Topeka Stars won the championship by defeating the Special Olympics Missouri Storm by a score of 26-15. Previous to that, the Stars defeated the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Thundercats, who in turn earned the bronze medal.

While we want you to share in our sense of accomplishment for earning the title of North American Champions, we also want to issue a challenge to you all. We will be back next season and we are ready to play your team. We will warn you now - we are better than we were when we started the season. You helped us to be better.

ALLAN HENDERSON, Topeka

 

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