BUENA PARK, CA – Buena Park School District students displayed their grit and athleticism by flinging frisbees, kicking soccer balls and throwing shot puts to the delight of family and friends during the inaugural Special Olympics Field Day, held April 14 at Pendleton Elementary School.

The event included a fun-filled station rotation, where athletes showcased skills they learned throughout the year, such as fundamental movement, coordination, balance, focus, endurance and social interaction. The event was held in partnership with the Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities.

“While at home, Dominic has been so excited to stay active and practice for the big day,” said David G., father of fourth-grader Dominic G. “He loves sports or anything that has to do with a ball but, we saw he did a great job throwing the frisbee around so we will need to get him a frisbee to further his love for the sport and to show our support.”

Once rotations were complete, the school community and parents of the young athletes lined up to show their support with a celebratory round of applause.

“Today would not be possible without the immense support and efforts of our wonderful staff and families,” Pendleton School Principal Loriann Leota said. “I would like to give a warm thank you to everyone who was involved in the planning of this event and ensured it was a huge success.”

Following the event, an award ceremony and popsicle celebration was held for the student-athletes, where they were presented with trophies and a Special Olympics backpack filled with physical activities for their hard-work and dedication.

Leota said she looks forward to hosting next year’s Field Day and hopes to expand on the success of the event by including additional activities to enhance student achievement.

“Congratulations to all of our young students for competing with pride and showing off their athletic talents,” Interim Superintendent Dr. Yvette Cantu said. “Buena Park School District will always be here to support and enrich the lives of our students by ensuring they have every opportunity to strengthen their academic and athletic skills empowering them into success.”


SPECIALOLYMPICS1: Pendleton Elementary School first grader Aaron G-M. gives a thumbs up as he prepares to compete in the inaugural Special Olympics Field Day event held on April 14.

SPECIALOLYMPICS2: Pendleton Elementary School third grader Alex R-V., with a frisbee in hand, showcases his athletic skills as he competes in the inaugural Special Olympics Field Day event held on April 14.