Sports

Acadiana’s Special Olympics team members have no place to practice for upcoming competition

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) A team of Acadiana Olympians are without a gym to practice for the USA Games.

Brie Perrodin is a team member of the Special Olympics volleyball team and a USA Games athlete.

She has been playing volleyball for 14 years.

“To want to be able to practice at least every other week and then closer to June 5 which is USA games weekly,” Perrodin said.

Brie’s mother, Angie Perrodin, admits it can be frustrating but Acadiana has always came through for Special Olympics.

Perrodin says she’s confident a place for the team to practice will be found.

She also realizes the other teams from across the USA will be prepared and ready.

“These are our special kids. To me, people should be at knocking down our doors with facilities and wanting to help.  It’s a struggle because they have to practice as a team.  It’s difficult,” Perrodin explained.

Mike Rhodes is the volleyball coach.

Rhodes says out of about 80 Louisiana team members, participating in various sports, about 35 are from the Acadiana area.

“They had to qualify at a state event and winning either a gold or silver medal over the last couple of years.  They are the top of the list,” Rhodes added.

At the bottom of the list seems to be finding a place to practice, in order to compete at the competitive level.

“We’re reaching out to Acadiana to see if anybody has a facility.  We want to try and practice every other Saturday from about ten to two.  We want these guys to really be prepared when we get to Orlando in June.”

Rhodes said the team wants to start practicing every other week, and then as they get closer to the event start practicing once a week.

He says Special Olympics carries liability insurance for athlete which covers them practicing in a gym.

Written by Renee Allen

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