Stennis Space Center to host annual Area III Special Olympics

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 20, 2018

INFINITY Science Center will host the annual Area III Stennis Special Olympics on March 10.

The event is open to athletes with intellectual disabilities from Hancock, Harrison, Pearl River and Stone counties, Committee Chairperson Paul Foerman said.

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The Area III Stennis Special Olympics has been held in the area since the 1980’s and was previously hosted at Stennis Space Center. In order to provide participants and volunteers easier access to the event, the decision was made to move the Special Olympic Games to INFINITY Science Center.

Foerman said the Area III Stennis Special Olympics Games are a prelude to the annual Special Olympics Mississippi State Summer Games, which will take place in April at Keesler Air Force in Biloxi.

According to a press release from Stennis Space Center, athletes must be 8-years-old or older in order to participate. Parents can sign their child up either through their school’s Special Education office or contact Area III Director, Katherine Clough, at

Participating athletes will have the opportunity to compete in competitions ranging from long jump, standing long jump, shotput, bocce ball and other track and field events. This year, athletes will also be able to compete in two new events, golf and volleyball.

The goal of the Special Olympics is to help athletes build their confidence to create a positive self-image, Foerman said.

This year, INFINITY Space Center plans to host over 150 athletes. The Area III Stennis Special Olympics committee is also looking for volunteers to help run the event.

Foerman said volunteers can either sign up to be an athlete’s friend for the day or help wherever it is needed.

The Special Olympics will begin at 9 a.m. beginning with a parade of the athletes. The event will last until about 1 p.m.

To become a volunteer or for more information, visit