Ky. Special Olympics team in need of place to practice as time runs out

Ky. Special Olympics team in need of place to practice as time runs out
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 12:04 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Dozens of athletes on a local Special Olympics team are trying to prepare for this year’s summer games.

However, they don’t have a track and field to practice with. With less than a week left to register with the state, they’re asking the public for help.

Ava Gilliam is an avid athlete who competes in multiple sports, but her favorite thing to do is go for a run.

“She runs up and down our driveway in the neighborhood several times a day and she looks forward to it,” said Grace Jeter, Ava’s sister.

Grace says Ava’s preparing for this year’s statewide Summer Games, but her team doesn’t have a track to compete on and they’re running out of time to find one.

“By March 23rd, they need to tell the Special Olympics of Kentucky where they’re going to be practicing and what time,” said Jeter.

Ava’s family says their coach has reached out to every public and private school in Fayette County and the surrounding counties. That includes UK and Transylvania.

They say Tates Creek kindly offered, but the timing wasn’t right.

“The coach and some of the athletes’ parents work full time. So, they’re not really able to do it in the early afternoons,” Jeter said.

Dozens of athletes are interested and ready to compete, but there’s less than a week to work out a deal. So, they’re hoping someone can help by sharing their facilities in the early evenings or on weekends.

Until then, Ava will keep training on her own to get ready for the big games this summer.