More than 1000 Special Olympics Athletes compete in Austin

AUSTIN, Texas-- Pin by pin, athletes from around Central Texas are looking to rack up the points this weekend as the bowling competition gets underway.

From Elgin to Georgetown, and New Braunfels to Manor, students representing their schools were bused to either Dart Bowl or Highland Lanes to show off their skills.

"They've been looking forward to it and they know it's the competition and they're trying to get first," said Coach Jan Sartain. Sartain leads Round Rock ISD's adaptive physical education program. She's worked with Special Olympics for 25 years. 

This year she had 97 athletes competing in the Region 13 bowling competition. 
 
"There are many times you are told what your child cannot do and we want to show what they can do," said David Johnson with Special Olympics in Central Texas. 
 
Keegan McDuffie proudly represents the Round Rock Roadrunners. At 11, he smiles from ear to ear holding his medal. His smile makes his mom, Kathy, smile even bigger
 
"It's really special to him and he really likes sports so it brings joy to him and me," said McDuffie. "He's delayed in a lot of areas but he's a major athlete and blessed with doing sports," she added. 
 
The weekend of competition wouldn't be possible without volunteers. "We have thousands of athletes we need to reach and the fact that we have 1,200 for bowling speaks to our desire that every athlete has a place to belong," said Johnson. 
 
"This is our opportunity to wear our school uniform and represent our school so it's huge and means everything," explained Coach Sartain. 
 
Each medal comes with a big hug from coach and an even bigger sense of pride. 
 
These athletes will keep training and working towards the next medal all while smiling. 
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