Team truck-pulling is not a sport in Special Olympics, but the annual event plays a big part in area Special Olympics athletes being able to compete each year.
The 13th annual Big Brown Truck Pull will take place Saturday at Heartland Church on Alben Barkley Drive. The opening ceremony begins at 11 a.m., with the first pull starting at 11:30 a.m.
The event is open to the public, although spectators may be asked to keep a distance from the pull area.
Jeanna Keith of McCracken County Special Olympics said this is the second year for the Big Brown Truck Pull to be held at Heartland Church, as it was previously held in Paducah’s Riverfront area.
“Right now, we have 12 teams registered to pull a fully loaded UPS truck,” she said Wednesday. “The team that pulls it in the fastest time is declared the winner.”
Team categories include all-women’s teams, all-men’s teams and coed teams (at least six women) consisting of up to 15 members, and they will work to pull a United Parcel Service truck a distance of 12 feet.
Last year’s Big Brown Truck Pull brought in more than $30,000 for McCracken County Special Olympics.
Special Olympics is open to people with intellectual disabilities who are 8 and older. McCracken County Special Olympics has athletes from around the region, including McCracken, Ballard, Hickman and Livingston counties in Kentucky and Massac County in Illinois.
“McCracken County (Special Olympics) currently has five sports,” Keith said. “We have basketball, bowling, track and field, softball and cheerleading. There are more sports available throughout the state.”
Keith said the regional bowling tournament will be on Oct. 23 at Cardinal Lanes. That competition is not open to the public. The state bowling competition will be held virtually later in the year.
Teams raise $750 for McCracken County Special Olympics — $50 per team member — and get two pulls in the event. Teams can raise more funds to get a third try at pulling the truck.
“We use that money to buy uniforms and to pay for all of our entry fees into our regional and state competitions,” Keith said. “We also have an awards banquet for our athletes and have a dance for them.
“We do things for the athletes throughout the year. We even did a drive-by trick-or-treat thing where they drove through and we handed them bags of candy.”
More information about McCracken County Special Olympics can be found on its Facebook page. More information about Special Olympics in Kentucky can be found at soky.org.
Those wanting to make a donation to McCracken County Special Olympics should mail the donation to: McCracken County Special Olympics, 218 Cody Cooper Road, Ledbetter, KY 42058. Checks should be made out to McCracken County Special Olympics.
Those interested in joining Special Olympics as an athlete or coach should contact the organization through its Facebook page.
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