Coweta County Special Olympics

Coleman earns Norah McGraw award

by Celia Shortt


Kenley Coleman, middle, accepts the Norah McGraw outstanding achievement award on thursday during the opening ceremonies for the 2014 Coweta County Special olympics Spring Games. Mike McGraw, left, and his wife, Renee, presented her with the award. McGraw is the brother of the late Norah McGraw, who taught special education in Coweta County and was a strong advocate for Special Olympics. 

Arnall Middle School student Kenley Coleman was awarded the Norah McGraw Outstanding Achievement Award on Thursday during the opening ceremonies for the 2014 Coweta County Special Olympics Spring Games.

The Coweta spring games were held Thursday at Newnan High School’s Drake Stadium.

Mike McGraw, director for the Coweta Community Foundation and brother of the late Norah McGraw, said at the presentation that Coleman is very active in school and many academic activities.

“She is a great role model for her classmates,” said McGraw. “She tells all of them to ‘make the right choice.’ She has a wonderful attitude and is a sweetheart.” Joining McGraw in making the presentation was his wife, Renee.

Coleman is also very involved in athletics. She was on the Special Olympics swim team in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013. To date, on the swim team, she has earned two gold medals, three silver medals, numerous bronze medals, and several fourth place ribbons. Coleman is also a member of the 2014 swim team.

“I know my sister would be proud of all she’s achieved,” said McGraw of Coleman.

Norah McGraw was a special education teacher in Coweta County and a strong advocate for the Special Olympics program.

During the opening ceremonies, Kelly Abercrombie, Coweta Special Olympics Coordinator and therapeutic recreation director for the Coweta County School System, awarded the volunteer of the year award to Linda Quick.

This year’s games were delayed until Thursday due to severe weather in Coweta County earlier in the week. The delay, however, did not stop 344 athletes from participating.

“We finally have great weather,” said Coweta County School Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker during the opening ceremony. “We appreciate Newnan High School hosting this important event for us … These are the finest students we have in our community. We appreciate what they do every day.”

Participating athletes came from many of the schools in Coweta County and surrounding areas.

The spring games also featured an olympic village with activities for athletes to enjoy between their events.

“The village has carnival games, rides and even a place for the athletes to get a free haircut and eye exam,” said Abercrombie. “The village is sponsored by local businesses and clubs in Coweta.”

Abercrombie also said many of the athletes at Thursday’s games will move on to the state competition at Emory University in late May.

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