Students meet for Track and Field Day

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (May 18, 2017) – With the valiant heart of an athlete, nearly 120 students competed in the Scioto County Student Track and Field Day, May 16, at Portsmouth High School Athletic Complex.

In the past, only students from the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities Vern Riffe School competed in the event. This year it was opened to include students with disabilities, age 5 to 22, from other school districts as well, including Valley, Northwest, and Wheelersburg.

“We wanted to include them so there could be a friendly competition among peers,” said Dr. Tammy Guthrie, director of school programs at the Vern Riffe School. “This was nice because there was some socialization and interaction, and they meet kids from around the area.”

Some of the events included 50-yard and 100-yard relay races, and a separate wheelchair relay, a javelin throw (with a swimming pool noodle), long-jump, and others.

Valley High School Guidance Counselor Jeff Rase is also a member of the Special Olympics Advisory Board, and said he was pleased to include Valley, and other schools, in the annual event.

“Our school district and our staff believe in inclusion. We want all kids to have opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities, and in any opportunity we can give them to compete and to be included,” Rase said.

Community Action Organization of Scioto County set up a large tent for shade, and volunteered to help set up and tear down the event this year. At the end of the day, students all received medals for their participation.

“It makes me feel happy that they get to participate in a fun, competitive event, and there’s equality in the groups they are competing against. No one has an edge over the other. I’m really happy that the kids get to feel like they have as much opportunity to win that race as everybody lining up against them,” Guthrie said.

For information about the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities, visit online at, of follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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