Northwest Missouri State University on Saturday, Jan. 12, will host the Special Olympics Missouri, northwest area basketball tournament which will bring more than 250 athletes from across the region to Maryville.  Opening Ceremonies will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Bearcat Arena and consist of entertainment provided by Northwest as well as a Special Olympics cheer squad, the running of the Special Olympics torch, and the athlete oath. Games will start at 9:30 a.m. and run until approximately 4 p.m. The contests will be played in Bearcat Arena and the Student Rec Center

“We are honored to be able to partner with the Special Olympics again this year,” said Northwest Directors of Athletics Wren Baker. “This is a great opportunity for many from the campus and community to come out and support these inspiring athletes.”

Competition divisions consist of individual skills, team skills, 3-on-3, modified and regulation, and unified basketball. Fans are invited to show support by cheering the athletes on at the free event. For more information or to volunteer at the 2013 Special Olympics Northwest Area Basketball Tournament, please contact Katie Hrenchir at 816-233-6232 or email [email protected]. You may also visit for more details

Special Olympics Missouri is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and is dedicated to improving the overall health and fitness of the athletes. More than 15,600 athletes participate in 21 Olympic-type sports throughout the state. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with other athletes, their families and the community. Visit our website at Engage with us on Twitter @somissouri;