Mooresville athletes gather to support youth with disabilities


Most central Indiana students are back in school, but some area high school athletes spent their final days of summer vacation with others who dream of a spot on the playing field.

The football field at Mooresville High School springs to life with orange shirts and a mixture of athletes young and old.

"It gives you a great feeling inside and it's not just about winning, that you're competing and just being a part of it," said Mooresville H.S. senior Michael Passmore, who runs cross country and track. "Everyone has a good time and it makes an impact on everyone."

High school athletes from different sports are spending the day with little ones who otherwise might not get a chance to step onto the field of play.

"This may the first experience that some of the children have had to do these types of activities," said Melanie DePoy, Jackson Center for Conductive Education. "Quite frankly, it may mean as much to them as a family as it does as a child, because families with children with special needs don't always get to go do all of the things we take for granted that we do with other children."

The children taking part in the event spend several days a week at the Jackson Center for Conductive Education, which is based in Mooresville. It helps out children with cerebral palsy and similar motor disorders.

"It gives them the opportunity to meet special needs kids and to understand that special needs kids can have fun just like other children do," DePoy said.

"We're trying to teach our student athletes, it's not about me, it's not about them, but for them the opportunity to give back to serve, to know that's it's about 'If I help my teammate, someone in my community, find success quicker, or greater, then I am going to find success in my own life'," said Mooresville H.S. athletic director Chad Briscoe.

Organizers say the event can have a powerful effect on the student athletes who see firsthand how their support for others can lead to a winning day.