WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Special Olympics Kansas wrapped up Sunday with more than 1,000 athletes participating.
Locally, one director, who has given her time and love to the organization, is being heralded as the glue for the team.
For 37 years, Wichita Independents Volunteer Director Kim Mudd has made sure athletes with special needs stay active.
“They want to feel just like a normal person,” Mudd says. “And it gets them off the couch, away from the TV, away from the soda bottle, that bag of potato chips, so they can come out and practice.”
And just like the saying, “It takes a village,” Mudd says the support system from the coaches and parents is important to the team’s success.
“She’s our mama bear and that’s what we call her, because she really teaches us how to get going and how to motivate the kids,” says volunteer Jason Rader. “When we first started, we were really hesitant about the social aspect of it and it’s like well, let’s see how it goes, but then as we’ve gone now into our third year, we know the kids just as much as she does. She knows them better, but we’ve learned a lot from her.”
As this year’s games draw to a close, Mudd hopes that the future for the track and field events continues to grow in support for these committed athletes.
“I would love to see the stands filled to cheer on these guys,” Mudd says. “I would really love to see that.