VLPRA & COMPETE VALDOSTA-LOWNDES BRING STATE SPECIAL OLYMPICS TO VALDOSTA
More than 1,000 Special Olympians and coaches from all around Georgia will travel to Valdosta for Fall State Games October 7th & 8th. The event is just one of dozens that Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority has recruited to the community along with its new sports recruitment brand, Compete Valdosta-Lowndes.
VLPRA worked with Special Olympics Georgia to bring State Fall Games to Valdosta in 2019. The games were canceled in 2020 and returned in 2021, modified and smaller because of the pandemic. Organizers expect this year’s games to have the highest participation since 2019 with 1,500 people including participants, volunteers, coaches, staff, and officials.
The games will kick off at 3:00 PM Friday afternoon at Freedom Park with bocce and softball competitions. The Opening Ceremonies then start at 7:30 PM at Field One, ending with a dance and fireworks.
Games start again Saturday morning at 8:00 AM. Bocce, softball, and cycling will compete at Freedom Park, while golfers compete at Quiet Pines Golf Course.
“We are excited to work closely with Special Olympics Georgia to have State Fall Games here in Valdosta and Lowndes County,” said VLPRA’s Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Sydney Prince. “Our athletes are thrilled to compete at home and welcome their friends from across the state.”
One of the biggest draws for Special Olympics is the Miracle Field Complex. The rubberized field with its surrounding four standard fields is an ideal spot for a variety of competitions, said VLPRA Executive Director George Page.
“We are extremely proud of the park addition as it is truly inclusive for both our local athletes and visitors,” Page said. “When VLPRA and the Miracle League of Valdosta built those fields, this was our vision: to host events just like State Games.”