P4T/GKF members and volunteers have organized 'field days' for Special Olympians for the past three years in Henry County, GA and all those events have steered toward the opportunity to expand statewide and adopt a competitive racing atmosphere.
Athletes from four counties participated in the inaugural race days, with representation from Hall (the home county) Henry in south Metro Atlanta, Glynn on the Georgia coast, and from Macon in Bibb County. They raced on a 200 meter course laid out by the staff at the Olympic venue. The Lake Lanier venue was home to the rowing and flatwater kayaking events at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. P4T provided water marshals to help the athletes get lined up prior to each race, and to respond to any emergencies on the water. A safety boat with first aid staff was also on hand for the duration of the event. A number of volunteers were on land to help stage the upcoming heats and get athletes on and off water.
Although P4T members often say that the Special Olympics connection is the brainchild of Doug Laverty of Henry County, his vision could not come to pass without hard work and advocacy from Kelli Britt at Special Olympics and Tony Narcisse at P4T. They have been ably assisted by numerous P4T / GKF volunteers. Whatever pride these folks might feel is well deserved. They serve a fine class of athlete and mobilize a terrific group of volunteers.
Special thanks go to Shane's Rib Shack, Red Bull, Cedar Creek Park Outfitters and The Outside World for their donations and support.