Tuscaloosa softball team getting set for Special Olympics next month

The next few weeks are packed full for Tuscaloosa’s PARAtroopers, who are representing the city as this year’s Special Olympics softball team.

After two years off, the team made up of men and women of all ages is putting in plenty of practice ahead of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando. The team was selected for the competition after the 2019 State Games competition, but COVID-19 kept them from the plate until now.

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30, the team is at Bowers Park, working on the skills they need to compete against as many as 50 teams from around the country.

On Thursday, May 5, Central Church of Christ’s Tide 4 Christ students and others from the congregation hosted a practice game in support of the PARAtroopers fielding and batting skills. Volunteers answered parent Melinda Field’s request and gave the team some solid competition.

“Many of the team members work jobs during the day just like we all do, and then they come out to enjoy a sport they really care about playing,” Fields said. “They are good athletes, and they would love to have the support from people in the community that they have missed out on the past two years.”

The team has several more practices before they leave for the ESPN Wide World of Sports June 5 through June 12. The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games will unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean and 125,000 spectators.

If you have a team or a group of volunteers who want to come out to play against them or support them, you can show up any Tuesday or Thursday at 4:30 at the smaller Hutt Fields at Bowers. If you want to support the team, contact LeTrice Prince-Koon at lprince@tcpara.org or you can make a tax-deductible donation to support PARA’s Foundation and designate your fund as “Therapeutic Recreation Program.” Click right here to donate.

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