Special Olympics Tournament Swings into Wichita

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Bats and clubs will be swinging in the Sunflower State this weekend.

More than 400 athletes from across Kansas will be coming to Wichita for the Charles E. Watson softball and golf tournament.

The players see it as a way to show off what they have learned throughout the season. Their improved social skills, listening skills, and of course, their ability behind the plate.

Steven Walters plays bocce ball, basketball, bowls, and runs track.
But this year, he decided to add one more sport to his already full plate.

"She was shorthanded one player and she asked if I would like to play softball so I said sure," Walters said.

But playing a sport for the first time isn't easy.

"The biggest challenge I've had is learning how to catch the ball," Steven said.

That's where his coach, Kim Mudd, comes in.

"Keep your eye on the ball," Mudd advised.

"She teaches us to, when we get up to the plate to bat the ball, to take our time, and wait for the pitch that we want," Steven said.

Mudd says that while working with the special Olympic athletes is rewarding, it can also present some challenges.

"Like on t-ball we kind of adapted the sometimes you have to roll the ball to the first baseman instead of throwing because they may not be able to catch the ball coming through the air," Mudd said.

"I think I'm just gonna get out there and swing my bat, and try to hit the right pitch, and hopefully it goes where we want it to," Steven said.

Steven asks the community to come support them this weekend.

The games are played at 13th and Tyler at the TYRC ballpark.
Games are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.


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