Church hosts annual Mingo County Special Olympics

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WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — The Chattaroy Church of God hosted the annual Mingo County Special Olympics, Tuesday.

Every school in the county brought a group of athletes to the Historic Williamson Memorial Fieldhouse to participate. Each student competes in three games. There is a first, second and third place winner. Each student leaves with a medal.

“It gives those students that don’t get to play a regular sport, this is their day,” said Dee Hatfield. She is the director of the Mingo County Special Olympics and Youth Pastor at the Chattaroy Church of God. “They get to come out and shine. Everybody cheers for them. I think they need this.”

The Mingo County Special Olympics has been around for several decades. This is the third year the Chattaroy Church of God has hosted. They say each year the crowd grows and it’s exciting for those competing.

“Members of our church come just to cheer them on. I know that this year we have a lot more parents and volunteers coming out,” added Hatfield. “It’s just a great atmosphere for them and they love it.”

“I just think it’s awesome getting to compete in the Olympics,” said Gilbert Middle School student Hannah Sloan. “Getting to see some people that I’ve never seen before. Some I have seen before. I’m just pretty happy to be here. I actually have competed a few times. 

“I’m just proud of everyone who’s competed today and I’m proud of all my family and friends who have supported me,” Sloan gushed.

Mingo Central High School and Tug Valley High School students as well as members of the church volunteer during the Mingo County Special Olympics.