Nothing but Net for Special Olympic Athletes

By Christine Souders |

Published 04/12 2014 08:14PM

Updated 04/12 2014 08:20PM

BURLINGTON, VT- The Special Olympics Spring Sports are in full swing.

Saturday, hundreds of athletes from around Vermont began a weekend long basketball tournament.

It's a time of year the athletes look forward too.

Brooke Benson said, "We're going to go first place!"

Jesse Orr said, "Just like playing for the team, to help them out and to have a good time."

Hundreds of Special Olympics athletes brought their  A-Game to UVM's Patrick Gymnasuim for the Annual Basketball Tournament.

"We've had three great months of practice and it gives them something to do everyweek and something to look forward too. But this is really the statewide effort to bring all the athletes together, " said Karen Warner, Program Coordinator Randolph.

For Karen Warner, the weekend compeitition started off with a bang!

"Both our teams won our first games, so we are having a good day!"

Athletes competed in individual shooting and dribbling events, as well the traditional basketball game

But Warner said the games are about more then the competition.

"More than anything this is about teaching these guys how to work together within a community, whatever your abilities are so thats the most important thing is that they have fun and they are good to each other."

Chris Langevine, the Sports Manager fo rSpecial Olympics Vermont said, "Like our athlete Oath said, let me win but if i cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

A motto all althetes take to heart.

"Basketball is a good sport to play with competition, everybody likes to have fun." said Christopher Preston, Chittenden BBall.

"I like to be with all my friends and play with them, I love my team, " said Brooke Benson.

The tournament continues through Sunday at the University of Vermont's Patrick Gymnasium.

The games run until 4pm..

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