Members of the Special Olympics Iredell County Unified Volleyball team show off their new uniforms provided by Partners Health Management and their silver medals won at their first volleyball invitational. Pictured (from left) are Coach Ted Williams, Aleena Ueno, Tyler Bowie, Chase Stroud, Sissy Blackwell, Unified Partner Barrett Williams, Megan Graham, Unified Partner Kinley Pennell, Preston Fox, Unified Partner Revae Bostwick and Coach Tammy Bowie.

Special to Iredell Free News

The community is invited to attend a send-off party on Friday, May 31, for Iredell County athletes headed to Raleigh/Cary for the Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games.

The event is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. at the Statesville Fitness Center, located at 1875 Simonton Road.

Bobbi Williams, Local Coordinator, encourages everyone to come out to meet and greet these athletes and to wish them luck.

“These athletes and coaches work so hard to train for competition and have a sincere desire to represent our county and this program to the best of their ability,” local coordinator Bobbi Williams said. “I hope the community, like they always do, will show up big for them for their send off.

“Knowing that the community supports their efforts and is cheering for them, makes them so proud and inspires the athletes to work even harder.”

Forty-three athletes, five unified partners and 15 coaches will represent Special Olympics Iredell County. The athletes will compete in six events which include athletics, basketball skills, bowling (singles, doubles and team), powerlifting, swimming and volleyball.

Casey Grant shows off his skills in the softball throw.

Casey Grant, a first-time participant, will compete in the softball throw as part of the athletics competition at St. Augustine University.

Casey has been training with his father, Mike Grant, for the past several months to prepare.

“Casey has found a niche that allows him to participate in a sport and encourages him to get out of the self-contained ‘box’ to improve his life and make new friends,” Mike shared.

Sincere Alexander gets a big hug from his mom, Adrienne Parks, after his first bowling invitational with Special Olympics.

Sincere Alexander is also new to the scene with Special Olympics. His mother, Adrienne Parks, shared that she is “honored to be part of a great group of people, and excited for the new adventures her son will have by being part of this team.”

Sincere will compete in bowling singles and hopes to bring home the gold.

Bowling coach Cindy Snook reflected on the hard work of all the athletes and the sense of pride she carries for the athletes.

Coach Kenny Moore, Chase Stroud, Jonathan Humes, Reece Williams and Coach, Joe Barker take time for a team photo after powerlifting practice. Humes and Williams will compete in powerlifting.

Joe Barker, owner of Genesis Fitness and coach of the newly formed Special Olympics powerlifting team, echoed Cindy’s thoughts. Joe shared that he is “so proud of the guys giving their all to powerlifting” and commended them for the amount of “heart these athletes have for their sport and how they all push harder and push forward to accomplish their goals.”

Randy Stroud, long time 3-on-3 basketball coach, is excited for his team to showcase their skills and represent Iredell County.

Chase Stroud stated that he is “so excited and a little nervous to play on Iredell County’s first volleyball team.” Learning a new sport has been challenging, but he’s ready for the State Games, his favorite time of the year.

The team, he said, “is improving at every practice and he cannot wait to see how they compete with other teams in North Carolina.”

The games, featuring seven Olympic-type sports, will be held May 31-June 2. Results and updates will be posted throughout the weekend of the Special Olympics Iredell County Facebook page.


To learn more about how you can get involved as an athlete, coach, unified partner or volunteer, email Bobbi Williams at