A couple weeks ago I received a telephone call from Albuquerque’s Mayor R.J. Berry asking if I thought Special Olympics athletes would have any interest in running on the City’s indoor track. Mayor Berry’s phone call led to a meeting with the Director of Albuquerque’s Parks and Recreation Deptartment. The results of that meeting ended up two-fold. On February 20th, Special Olympics New Mexico will host its first indoor track meet at the Convention Center, and Special Olympics New Mexico is now part of a partnership called ABQ TEAM F.I.T. (Albuquerque Team For Indoor Track.) After leaving the Parks and Rec Department, calls were made to the UNM Track and Football coaches extending an invitation to their athletes to serve as volunteers at our Inaugural Indoor Meet. Both coaches were happy to be included in our day. Days later, as I was sharing the news with one of our community partners from the Bank of Albuquerque, she expressed a desire on their part to be involved in the meet, as well.
The bottom line of all those details you just read is this – Special Olympics New Mexico is serving as a link in our community in ways that matter to more people than just us. The Mayor’s office thought of us, the Parks and Rec Department embraced us, the University Athletic Department rallied around us, and the Bank of Albuquerque offered to support us. Our athletes are uniting community leaders in an effort to foster a healthier environment – one of acceptance, inclusion, and unity. Now how cool is that.