In one of the more touching moments of the Special Olympics Meet Saturday at Chuck Fruit Aquatics Center, Edwardsville swimmer Victoria Brady jumped in the water and coached a girl to a victory. (Photo by Dan Brannan)

Edwardsville hosted the Special Olympics 2015 District E Aquatics Meet Saturday at the Chuck Fruit Center and it brought plenty of smiles and cheers from both participants and those in attendance.

Adam Garrett, one of the Edwardsville High School coaches, said he thought it was super exciting that Edwardsville Community School District 7 could have the event.

“It is very touching the Edwardsville staff, students and others volunteer their time for it,” he said. “The student athletes grow as they practice, compete and shine."

Leslie Roderick was the head Edwardsville High School Special Olympics coach. She said it was one of the best experiences of her life, coaching her team.

“I learned more from the kids than they learned from me,” she said. “They were nothing but happy, joyful hard workers. They always gave me 100 percent.”

Bob Rettle, director of the Chuck Fruit Center and coach of the Edwardsville Breakers, said it is a privilege to host an event like the one Saturday.

“The goal for the facility is to serve the whole spectrum of athletes and we are doing that,” he said. “Today was one of the gems we want to be involved with. The Special Olympics organizers did a great job of putting the meet together. We also had special volunteers and parents who worked hard.”

Edwardsville High School Principal Dennis Cramsey was in attendance for the meet and he said he was absolutely proud of everyone who participated. He also praised the volunteers.

“This is a great facility and an opportunity to serve all people,” he said.

The Edwardsville High School Special Olympics team. (Photo by Dan Brannan)

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