Inspired by the Special Olympics, Rumson-Fair Haven area students from Knollwood, Forrestdale and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High (RFH) schools recently competed in what was dubbed the Tri-District Olympics.
“The idea for the event came about last year, when the Special Olympics games were cancelled due to rain,” RFH Special Education teacher Noelle Laufer said about the May 21 event at RFH. “As a result, RFH held their own Olympic games last spring, in which special education students from the self-contained classes at RFH, Knollwood, and Forrestdale gathered to compete in various track and field events. It was such a success, and so widely received, that many have asked for it to be held again. So we are having our second annual Olympic games here at RFH, and we have renamed it the Tri-District Olympics. The stands are just filled with parents and students to cheer our kids on! We are thrilled with the turn-out, and are looking forward to growing this event each year.”
This year, a record number of more than 20 students participated in events, including a 50-meter dash, 100-meter dash, 400-meter race, 800-meter race, long jump, and tennis ball throw. All participants received ribbons with medals, and many of the student-athletes achieved “personal best” scores.
The Tri-District Olympics was sponsored by the RFH Character Education Club. Staff members from the schools assisted and supported the student-athletes, and RFH students from the Character Education Club, track and field, and general education classes helped to organize and run the event.
The t-shirts worn by all participating athletes, staff members, and volunteers featured a logo designed by RFH freshman and graphic arts student Shaelyn McClunn.
The athletes were celebrated and congratulated during a festive after-party held at RFH.
“I am so proud of the participating student-athletes, and I am extremely grateful for the faculty organizers,” RFH Principal Dr. Tracy Handerhan said. “This event is such a wonderful opportunity for the entire RFH community to come together to forge positive memories for both student-athletes and spectators.”
— Edited press release from RFH