Champions of the Valley at the center of the event at Canfield School

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – The champions were the center of attention Thursday at Canfield. The very first Champions Day was held in high school for students with special abilities.

For two hours, 80 students with special needs experienced the “play day” thrill of several sports. Medals were also awarded.

“It’s a day to celebrate the differences and celebrate students with special abilities and being able to connect with them and give them a game day experience,” said Joe Knoll, Canfield Superintendent.

The children had their names read over the loudspeaker at the stadium.

They could put on shoulder pads like the soccer team, kick a soccer ball and score a goal, and even play tennis, all while getting help from Canfield’s athletes in those sports.

“This is a vision of our superintendent and a value of our community,” said David Spaulding, director of special services at Canfield.

There were students from Canfield, Poland, South Range, Springfield, Struthers, Leonard Kirtz and the MCCTC. Everything was organized by Knoll.

“I’m really passionate about this piece as it relates to students with special abilities,” Knoll said. “I have a son who is here today and enjoying it. I told our group that what is special for me is that we are going to give five children the opportunity to experience something that they will probably never have the opportunity to do, ”said Knoll .

Canfield athletes also helped students play lacrosse and even putt golf.

But there was also the message of what it means to be a champion.

“What’s special to me is that we’re going to give the kids the opportunity to experience something that they probably would never get the chance to do,” Knoll said.

Everything happened on Thursday and it put a smile on all faces, even those who chose to do a little race on the track.

The event created many wonderful memories and was a great learning experience for everyone.

“Honestly, I see students who are excited to be in school and learn. And learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom, ”said Spaulding.

Canfield hopes to repeat Champions Day next year and invite more schools and special students to participate.

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