Ga. Bulldog takes part in Special Olympics bowling
by Celia Shortt
Cowetan and University of Georgia football player Tray Matthews opened the 2014 Coweta County Special Olympics Bowling Championship Friday at Junction Lanes in Newnan.
“I’m glad to be here and to see these beautiful kids and their parents,” said Matthews at the start of the tournament. “It’s my pleasure to be here. Have fun.”
Matthews said he had a short break before heading back to UGA and wanted to be a part of the event.
“My mom always tells me about all these kids who look up to me,” he said. “I felt I had to be here. I just love being here around these kids and their smiles.”
Matthews also presented the Henry Seldon Award for Outstanding Sportsmanship in the Classroom and on the Field to Coweta student Canon Coker. The award is named for Coweta County School System’s longtime recreation director.
The annual bowling tournament is an important event and showcases all the athletes’ hard work.
“Athletes train all year for this,” said Kelly Abercrombie, Coweta Special Olympics Coordinator and therapeutic recreation director for the Coweta County School System. “It’s the culmination of all their training.”
“We also love the thrill of competition,” she added.
The purpose of the event is to help the athletes become as independent as possible.
Abercrombie hopes they will also be able to channel the independence they gain through this event into other areas of their lives.
Recently, the Coweta County Special Olympics held its 2014 spring games at Newnan High’s Drake Stadium. Despite having to be rescheduled due to inclement weather, 344 athletes participated in the games.
Their next event is the Coweta County Special Olympics Golf Tournament on June 6 at the Orchard Hills Golf Course. All proceeds will benefit Coweta County athletes.