Special Olympics qualifying rounds held Sunday

Qualifying round held Sunday for Miami-Dade Special Olympics

Published On: Mar 11 2013 12:57:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 04 2013 01:22:18 AM EST
MIAMI -

Hundreds of athletes turned out to take part in a qualifying round for the Miami-Dade County Special Olympics.

About 500 athletes were signed up for the 31st annual event. Those who have the best times in the qualifying rounds will go on to the statewide competition this summer in Orlando.

Sunday's qualifying rounds include the 50/100/400 meter relays, wheelchair races, softball through, shot-put, and high jump.

Participants represented various schools and group homes from throughout the county. More than 1,000 volunteers were also slated to attend the event as "huggers," or those who accompany athletes to their events and cheer them on.

Sunday's round was scheduled to last past 4 p.m. at the Traz Powell Stadium at Dade Community College in Miami.

The Special Olympics of Miami-Dade County offers year-round sports training, competition, and activities for anyone 8 years and older with intellectual disabilities. Their goal, in part, is to develop participants' strength, both mentally and physically.

For more information, including how to get involved and how to donate, click here.