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Local Special Olympics athletes will visit campus to compete in basketball and swimming in late February and early March.

An estimated 300 middle school and high school students in Colonial Intermediate Unit #20, which covers Northampton, Monroe, and Pike Counties, will play basketball 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, and swim Tuesday, March 5, at Kirby Sports Center, according to Deb Dimenichi, event coordinator and organizer of the aquatics competition. About a dozen basketball teams and 50 swimming heats are expected. In addition, some students will play “lead-up” basketball, a variation in which individual players use certain skills to complete tasks that result in one teammate making a basket on a low hoop.

Participation in these local Special Olympics events will help determine which athletes go on to the state competitions at Penn State University. “We look at overall behavior and their skills,” says Dimenichi. “We don’t limit it to kids who get the best scores. We want all kinds of students to get the benefit of playing on the state level.”

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