Family Fun

Special Games Highlight Athletes with Special Needs

The City of Temecula Community Services Department always go out of their way to make sure all residents of their hometown are given opportunities to learn, play and have fun. On Saturday, April 23rd at 9:30 am, the 8th Annual Special Games gives athletes with developmental disabilities the chance to really shine.

“The Special Games is an opportunity for those with developmental disabilities to have an event all about them,” Dawn Adamiak, Recreation Supervisor for the City of Temecula Department said.

In 2008, the City was approached by residents who had attended a similar event at Cal State Fullerton, and suggested the inventive and fun event would be perfect for the community of Temecula. The City agreed, and teamed up with the Temecula Valley Unified School District for the very first Special Games on March 13th, 2009 at Chaparral High School.

To accommodate larger crowds, the Special Games is now held at Great Oak High School.

Special Games athletes will participate in their own Olympics-style opening ceremonies, non-competitive games and sporting events, and a sponsored lunch.

“We offer over 30 different games and activities for our athletes to try,” Adamiak said. “All games and activities are non-competitive in nature and can be adjusted for all ages and abilities.”

The Special Games is open to athletes of all ages with development disabilities. Activities at the Special Games include a 50-yard dash, obstacle course, ladder golf, arts and crafts, dancing, baseball, and many others.

As a grand finale, each athlete has the chance to be applauded at the Special Games closing ceremonies; giving each of them a chance to be the winner they truly are.

The Special Games is only one of many events and facilities in Temecula improving the lives residents with disabilities. In 2009, the City Council adopted the Youth Master Plan Addendum, which focuses on serving youth with special needs. The plan was designed to provide productive, healthy, and diverse activities and long-term support needed by the City’s youth, teens and parents.

“Our goal is to ensure that all individuals receive the same quality experience, access to programs, and full participation in our community events,” Adamiak said.

Since passing the Addendum, Temecula has hosted several educational seminars and events to help those with special needs, such as supporting the recent World Autism Day on April 2nd and the construction of the immensely popular Eagle Soar Playground and Splash Pad, an enclosed area designed to provide those with developmental disabilities a safe and fun environment in which to play.

For more information on the City of the Temecula Special games or other programs for those with special needs, visit the City of Temecula Community Services website at

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Holly Herndon

Holly Herndon

Holly has been covering arts & entertainment in the Temecula Valley for as long as she has been a part of the community. She loves San Diego sports almost as much as she loves her family.

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