Southside Holds Inaugural Maverick Olympics

Ella McEntire, Co-Newspaper Editor

     Students gathered in the football field stands to cheer on their peers at the inaugural Maverick Olympics on May 16. Special education students participated in track and field events such as 100-meter races, javelin and softball throw, and soccer fundamentals. The students who placed in each event received medals and stood on customized podiums to honor their achievements. 

     “For our students to demonstrate their athletic ability in front of their peers, families, and friends was an awesome experience for every student participating. When you see the heartfelt appreciation and joy in their expressions, the fact that many returned to school the next day proudly wearing the medals they had earned, there is no doubt, whatsoever, it was a singular, amazing experience that they will carry with them throughout their lives,” special education teacher Mr. Todd Watkins said.

     Due to the immense success of this endeavor, the Maverick Olympics is planned to continue in the future, building in many ways each year.

     “Our hopes for the future of Maverick Olympics are threefold: First, we hope to expand the number of athletic competitions and the number of volunteers necessary for a much more ambitious event; second, to incorporate students from Euper Lane Elementary and Ramsey Middle School to come and compete with their peers, in the hopes that these early experiences will help prepare them for their eventual transitions to Southside High School; and third, we intend to coordinate with organizations like Abilities Unlimited and Bost Human Developmental Services to invite Alumni of our program here at Southside to come and compete with their peers as well,” Mr. Watkins said.

     With the help of staff, student volunteers, and other members of the community, such as Grand Avenue Baptist Church, the Maverick Olympics helps to bring students together in encouraging their classmates and creates a new sporting event at Southside that will work to unite the community it continues to grow and develop over time.