Special Olympians end season with walkathon

Athletes and volunteers are gathering this Sunday at McLeod Park.

Langley’s Special Olympians will gather this Sunday for an annual walkathon and to thank their volunteers.

About 80 Special Olympians are expected to attend McLeod Athletic Park to take some laps around the track on the morning of June 25.

The athletes have spent the last six weeks getting pledges for the non-competitive event, said Jayne Burton, one of the local volunteers with Special Olympics.

Special Olympians are athletes with cognitive disabilities. There are about 200 athletes involved in the Langley area, participating in more than a dozen sports programs, ranging from swimming to basketball to five-pin bowling to power lifting to golf.

The schedule for this Sunday includes arrival at 10 a.m., an opening ceremony in front of the bleachers, and then about 45 minutes of time on the track.

Some of the athletes will be running, but others will likely be walking and talking.

“It’s a real nice social outing for them,” Burton said.

This event is the unofficial end of the season for local Special Olympians.

“It’s the wrap up for the year for us,” said Burton.

Most sports will go on hiatus over the summer an resume in the fall.

After the walkathon there will be an acknowledgement of the work volunteers have done for Langley Special Olympics over the past year, and a picnic lunch.

There are about 140 volunteers who work with Langley’s Special Olympians.