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Special Olympics Meet & Greet at Jake's Pizza

St. James Plaindealer - 2/24/2017

The Watonwan County Tritans Special Olympics team held a meet and greet to kick off their 2017 track and field season. The meet and greet was held this past Saturday at Jake's Pizza on First Avenue South in St. James.

The event was organized by Kamra and James Joosten for the second straight year. The age range for the Special Olympics children is eight and up.

Special Olympics participants choose three or four different events to compete in. These events range from softball throws, long jump, high jump, and various relay activities. There is even a unified relay tournament with two special needs athletes that are teamed up with two regular athletes.

Caring for children with special needs is a top priority for Kamra Joosten as her sister and four children all have special needs.

"We wanted to put something together for the special needs children in the St. James area. This is a fun weekend activity for the kids to get involved in," said Joosten.

The Watonwan County Tritans would like to begin training for their season on March 18. However, the team is still in the beginning stages of searching for a nearby indoor practice facility for their athletes.

Last year, the participants of the Special Olympics had the opportunity to compete at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Competing on such a big stage was a thrilling experience for the youngsters.

According to Joosten, watching the camaraderie build within the team is the most rewarding part of the experience.

"It's a wonderful thing when you get to see the athletes cheering one another and encouraging one another.

To me, things like that are much more important than who finishes first or second." Robert Brewer can be reached on twitter@Football Rob or via email at


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