The Wessex Wire

The Student News Site of West Essex Regional High School

The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

Students look forward to Special Olympics to showcase talents

The Special Olympics gives students with special abilities an opporunity to engage in sport events, while having fun.
Logo obtained from Special Olympics
The Special Olympics gives students with special abilities an opporunity to engage in sport events, while having fun.

The Special Olympics, held throughout high schools across the nation for those who have special needs, will occur on May 1. West Essex has a lot of pride in their Special Olympics program and allows those with intellectual disabilities to express themselves and showcase their talents. 

Mrs. Faggiani and Mrs. Fernicola have both played a major role in organizing and running the Special Olympics at West Essex. While Fernicola helps with the fundraising and spreading awareness, Faggiani is in charge of the overall production. Maria Faggiani explained the preparation that goes into the Special Olympics and the students that participate.

“Every year the amount of participants varies but we usually have anywhere from 5 to 15 athletes participate in the Special Olympics,” Maria Faggiani said. “Those participating go through a few training days, usually in PE. At Brookdale Park, the PE teacher(s) put the athletes through a warm-up and then review the layout of the track and field to see where events typically occur. They also have time to practice their events.”

The events that the athletes will participate in are the standing long jump, softball throw, tennis throw, mini-javelin, 50 or 100M walk and 50 or 100M run. Faggiani said the Olympics are also located at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield. Students have been participating in this for over 10 years. “We are hoping to expand our participation and attend other Special Olympics events in the future,” Faggiani said.

Students look forward to the Special Olympics and it is a highlight of the year for attendees. The stands are always filled with athletes, fans, and family members cheering on the competitors. “The energy and sportsmanship is really something special,” Faggiani said. “Students from all over the county are there as well as law enforcement and local officials who come to show support. All athletes who participate receive a medal and are recognized.”

The Special Olympics is a truly unique event and a highlight of many students’ high school years. 


Photo credit: Logo obtained from specialolympics.org.

Behind the Byline
Gabe Herman, News and Features Editor
Gabe Herman is a News & Features Section Editor for the Wessex Wire. He is in the class of 2025 and started taking journalism in his freshman year. A fun fact about Gabe is that he loves to cook, travel, and spend time with his family and friends.
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