Colonial School District students ran, jumped, and threw their way to victory at the Special Olympics Track and Field Event held at Hatboro-Horsham High School on May 23. 

Thirty-four students in second through fifth grade competed at the event, which included student athletes from surrounding districts such as Hatboro-Horsham, Abington, Lower Moreland, Upper Dublin, Cheltenham, Lower Merion, Upper Merion, Jenkintown, Norristown, Springfield Township, and Wissahickon.

Events included the 50- and 200-meter run, a softball throw, long jump, and a tennis ball throw. Fourth-graders Adriana Vazquez Martinez, Maria Horack, and Nina Weidamoyer anxiously awaited their turn before the 50-meter run and explained that they trained for their race during weekly practice sessions on the high school track.

“We had to practice a lot,” said Adriana. 

“I am nervous (about) being good, but I stretch a lot,” said Maria.

Nina, who also admitted to being a bit nervous, and Maria both had faith that Adriana was going to do well, calling her the fastest. Adriana said she had an advantage of her long legs,but then clarified that it shouldn’t make a big difference.

“To me it doesn’t matter if you’re short or tall - it’s like how fast you go,” said Adriana, who ended up coming in first in her heat during the 50-meter race.

This is the first time Colonial School District has been back to the Special Olympics since prior to the pandemic. The occasion was celebrated in style over the course of two days. Whitemarsh Elementary School held a spirited parade for student athletes before the event. Children, teachers, and staff lined the hallways holding signs of support and the Olympic theme song played over the speakers as the student athletes carried banners and signs down the hall. Ridge Park Elementary also held a send-off parade for students who were headed to the competition.

On May 23, students gathered early in the morning at Colonial Elementary School to board the bus to the event. Softball and baseball players from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, as well as members of the high school’s Best Buddies club, arrived to cheer on the students as they left. Fire trucks from Barren Hill, Spring Mill, Harmonville, Plymouth, and Conshohocken fire companies were there to lead the bus out, along with police from surrounding municipalities.


Student carries banner in WE parade
Whitemarsh student carries banner down hallway
Whitemarsh students greet parade-goer
Whitemarsh students show off signs
Whitemarsh students hold signs
a student holds up a sign of encouragement at Whitemarsh parade
Special Olympians pose for photo
An aerial picture of parade at CES
Student high-fives Karen Berk
Students wave as they get on the bus
Students cheer for special olympians
Sign on the bus
Student hugs Principal Rose Rock
PW baseball player holds sign
CES students run 50-meter dash
Adriana Vazquez Martinez shows off her blue ribbon
A student poses for a phot with ribbon
Students and teachers dance at the Special Olympics event
A student starts her race
A student runs the 200-meter race
AJ gives a thumbs up to his teacher
AJ shows off his blue ribbon