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Harding University to host Special Olympics Arkansas summer games | Community Spirit

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Harding University to host Special Olympics Arkansas summer games
Harding University to host Special Olympics Arkansas summer games

SEARCY, Ark. — Harding University will host the Special Olympics Arkansas summer games May 26-28, celebrating 17 consecutive years having the event on campus.

Opening ceremonies kick off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, and activities last through closing ceremonies at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 28. Events include aquatics, bocce ball, power lifting, softball, flag football, golf, track and field athletics, and wheel chair competitions. A brand new program this year will be held on Friday, May 27, at 11:30 a.m. for young athletes with several events for those ages 4 to 7 years.

Approximately 1,400 athletes are expected to compete with attendee totals being near 6,000 on campus for the event. The University is already preparing for their arrival. Aramark Facility Services will deliver and pick up hundreds of chairs, tables and dumpsters, and clean and prepare dorms where coaches and athletes will be housed. Meals will be provided in the American Heritage Center Cafeteria, and Aramark Classic Fare Catering will deliver box lunches to athletes.

Harding’s physical resources department will revamp the entire south end of campus, building the main event stage and setting up electrical wiring throughout the Special Olympics site at First Security Stadium a few days before the games begin.

Several area organizations and business are donating their time and resources to help with this year’s event as well.

Searcy Mayor David Morris and Dr. Bruce McLarty, vice president of spiritual life at Harding, will welcome athletes and guests at the opening ceremonies May 26. The public is invited to attend in support of the program, and there is always a need for volunteers throughout the events.

For more information, visit www.specialolympicsarkansas.org.