South Dakota Special Olympics athletes compete in Softball tournament

At the Star of the West Sports Complex in Rapid City, a total of eight teams and roughly 130 athletes competed in Saturday's softball tournament.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — After a 19-month absence from playing, Special Olympics athletes were back on the softball field on Saturday.

At the Star of the West Sports Complex in Rapid City, a total of eight teams and roughly 130 athletes competed in Saturday’s softball tournament. The Bocce Ball Tournament was Friday.

The Fall Classic Tournament was originally going to be statewide, but due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, Special Olympics organizers opted for regional events in Rapid City and Sioux Falls to cut down on traveling and large crowds.

Competing was a big key to Saturday’s event, but it also gave the athletes a chance to see some familiar faces.

“Many times our extracurricular activities provide us with our social outings and our chance to meet friends, and same goes for our athletes here,” said Cathy Grubb, the Black Hills Area Director for Special Olympics South Dakota. “Today this is more social, as much social as it is competitive, they they get to see their friends and showcase the skills that they have.”

Athletes also enjoyed the chance to receive their rewards and be back out on the field while encouraging great sportsmanship through the games.

“I do enjoy being with my friends and it’s fun. If I don’t win first place, it’s fun to get a ribbon and if we win, it’s fun to no matter what, we congratulate the other team. It’s fun,” said Meghan Hobbs, a Special Olympics athlete.

Grubb also expressed thanks to the Black Hills State University Softball Team, and members of Ellsworth Air Force Base for their volunteering efforts.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News, Sports