Kids, adults with disabilities get chance to shine at annual Clackamas track meet

The Clackamas County School District sporting event gives more than 100 children and young adults with complex disabilities a chance show off their skills.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:04 PM PDT
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GLADSTONE Ore. (KPTV) - The 19th annual track meet for Clackamas County School District is back after a three-year hiatus for the pandemic.

The sporting event includes more than 40 events in which more than 100 children and young adults with complex disabilities are able show off their skills.

“They start working on these in their PE classes all year long to learn the actual events,” says Jared Hayes, Clackamas, ESD. “When they actually can come here, show how to do it in a more general setting like a regular track, meet it’s huge.”

Jordyn Jones is a 19-year-old Clackamas Post High School student who loves to be included in all of the activities.

“She’s pretty proud of herself when she finishes and getting her medals,” says Tiffany Hayes, Jordyn’s Mother.

Ninth grader Benjamin Silverman from Clackamas High is one of the most competitive kids out there.

“For him to get out here and really celebrate all the things he can do. He’s got obstacles and needs adaptive equipment, but at the end of the day he just wants to have fun like everybody else,” says Nicole Silverman, Benjamin’s Mother.

The years off made it hard for some families to keep a sense of normalcy.

Silverman said Benjamin stopped walking at one point because their family wasn’t out and about. She believes an event like this can have a huge impact in the long run.

“It encourages him to be around a lot of people in a different environment to try his best to learn to manage disappointment and win those are all very important life skills,” says Silverman. “It could bring me to tears to have him out here around people, living life getting back on his truck again. It’s life-changing.”