Debra Toney, an adapted physical education teacher for the Zachary School District, plans and organizes the time trial event every year with assistance from Chauncey Moore and Craig Castello of the Adapted P.E. Dept.
The group teaches physical education to special needs students who are unable to participate safely or successfully in a regular P.E. program.
The goal of the Time Trials is to record accurate scores and distances for entry into the Special Olympics Capital Area Track & Field meet which will be held Feb. 27 and 28 at the Louisiana School for the Deaf from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Toney says the event acquaints students with the track meet experience so they will know what to expect at the upcoming athletic event.
The kids began participating in bowling events at Don Carter All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge in October.
About 170 special needs student-athletes from the Capital Area, which includes the parishes of East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Iberville and Point Coupee, competed in a final bowling event Dec. 5.
Twenty-five students from the Zachary school district competed, and about 68 volunteers including Zachary High students, parents, coaches and those from the Adapted P.E. Dept. also attended.
“The children get so much more than just athletic competition. They learn about sportsmanship, they learn what it is to try to do their best, they make new friends and it also gives them an opportunity to exercise,” Toney said of the upcoming time trial benefits. “The joy on their faces gives me such a rewarding experience. It’s just so overwhelming.”
Trial events include the 50 meter race, standing long jump and softball throw, and students are divided into groups based on their respective schools: Zachary Elementary, Copper Mill, Northwestern Middle and Zachary High.
Community and school volunteers act as time keepers, judges, recorders and starting line officials.