Prairie View A&M University has paved an uncharted lane for Special Olympics track and field athletes in Texas with an inaugural event held at the HBCU’s PVAMU Athletics Complex Friday. A total of seven teams from the Greater-Texas area were able to compete in the Special Olympics Texas Regional Track & Field Meet, making history! Read all about it in the release from PVAMU below.

Credit: Prairie View A&M University Facebook

Dozens of the best young athletes from Southeast Texas headed to Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) on April 16 to take part in the University’s inaugural Texas Special Olympics (SOTX) track and field contest. PVAMU is the first historically black college/university (HBCU) to host the meet in Texas.

“Special Olympics Texas is thrilled to be collaborating with Prairie View A&M to make our inaugural Unified Track & Field season a huge success,” shared Ben Johnson, Unified Champion Schools Specialist – East Region. “We believe that the Regional Meet will be a phenomenal experience that will forever be remembered by all that are involved with this historic event.”

PVAMU’s Track & Field Stadium has been a world-renowned host of USA Track and Field qualifying contests. The SOTX event will be a University Interscholastic League (UIL) competition. Unified teams consist of student-athletes with and without intellectual disabilities.

Airel Stewart, the student organizer of the event. Credit: Prairie View A&M University

Airel Stewart, a senior biology major at PVAMU from Midlothian, Texas, worked to bring the meet to the University with the help of her professors.

“With [my professors’ support], and several others on campus, it took three years to bring the Special Olympics to PVAMU. And, to have President [Ruth] Simmons’ support? It meant everything,” said Stewart, who first volunteered with SOTX during her senior year in high school. “It was an experience that I latched on to. Being around the athletes helped build my character and my patience, and I loved it! I know the PVAMU volunteers will have the same life-changing experience with these outstanding kids!”

PVAMU hosted seven teams from the East Region (Greater Houston area) for the contest. Athletes will compete in the following events:

  • Long Jump
  • Shot Put
  • 100m
  • 400m
  • 4 x 100m Relay (Girls)
  • 4 x 100m Relay (Boys)

The top four teams will compete in the Unified Track & Field UIL State Championship, April 29 – May 2, 2021, in San Antonio.