Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Hundreds of Athletes Compete in 5th Annual North Schuylkill Spartan Games

The 5th Annual Spartan Games took place Tuesday at North Schuylkill's Spartan Stadium.

The yearly event brings together hundreds of athletes with special needs from Schuylkill, Columbia, Dauphin, and Northumberland Counties to compete for their school district.

According to Knute Brayford, Supervisor of Special Education at North Schuylkill, 850 athletes from 19 school districts competed this year.

Participating districts included North Schuylkill, Shenandoah Valley, Mahanoy Area, Minersville, Tamaqua, Blue Mountain, Kutztown, Shikellamy, Tri-Valley, Williams Valley, Mt. Carmel, Southern Columbia, Shamokin, Pottsville, Schuylkill Haven, St. Clair, Pine Grove, Upper Dauphin, Panther Valley, St. Joseph’s Center for Special Learning, and the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit.

The day started out with opening of the games that included the lighting of the Spartan Games torch and the annual mascot event with the Schuylkill Haven Hurricane taking home the crown this year.

The athletes ranged from kindergarten through 12th grade and competed in track and field events such as Throwing (Javelin, Shot Put, Tennis ball, Frisbee); Jumping (Running Long Jump, Standing Long Jump, Vertical Jump); Running (50-meter race, 100-meter race, 50-meter walk, wheelchair race); and a 4 x 100 relay race (each district enters a team to compete for a team trophy). Bocci Ball was a new event for 2023.

Each athlete received a ribbon for the events they participated in.

Along with the athletes, over 1,200 student volunteers from all 19 districts helped throughout the event.

A food truck area sold an assortment of food from the Schuylkill Technology Center, Pizza Buds, Chill Out Ice Cream.

There was also a carnival game area.

Superintendents and Principals from all of the districts attended.

"Words can't even described the comradery and the awareness and just the great environment North Schuylkill puts on with the Spartan Games.   We've attended the past couple of years and my staff tirelessly says how accommodating and it's just a great place to be.  Seeing it grow is just a testament of the hard work North Schuylkill puts into this.  When you see the pictures and read the articles it's one thing, when you come here and you see everything they put on, it will just blow your mind.    It's such a great commentary for Schuylkill County and their awareness for special needs kids." said Bob Giba, Principal of St. Joseph's Center for Special Learning.

In the end, all the athletes went home happy after a day full of fun and making new friends.