North Bend State Park holds Int. sports jamboree
CAIRO, WV — North Bend State Park is hosting its 43rd “International Sports Jamboree,” which kicked off July 15 and ends July 17.
This jamboree was started in 1978 by the Telephone Pioneers, who were committed to organizing sporting events for people with reduced mobility or visual impairment.
Participants aged 8-40 will have entertainment, treats, sporting challenges and a dance where a king and queen will be crowned over the weekend. Many sporting events in which competitors participate are created by those who help organize the event. These events include:
- Mini golf
- 40 yards
- Bike race
On Saturday morning they will bring the Collars of the Correctional Division Honor Guard and then they will begin to participate in the games.
Kathy Hess, General President of the Jamboree, has been helping for seven years. She said she is hooked and truly honored to serve the participants who have become family over the years. Events like this are important for people with visual impairments and reduced mobility.
“Some of them, even though we have Special Olympics available, some of them don’t participate in that. However, because it’s a bit small – a lot smaller, uh, it puts them more at risk. comfortable and they can participate or not. I mean, they can do everything, or one or two things,” Hess said.
“The best thing about this event is seeing the attendees smiling and having fun,” Hess added. “The memories and friendships participants make at camp are lifelong for them. Most people can walk around and participate in these activities every day, but this is an opportunity for those who cannot. With the 40 yard dash they have the ability to run, as they will be put in a harness and someone will run with them.
Jimmy Stein has been part of the Jamboree since the first year of its creation, of which he is one of the founders. Stein still attends the event every year, sometimes with his wife, Anne Stein. It does its part to serve the attendees by making keychain bracelets, some of the games played there and much more.
The International Sports Jamboree is looking for volunteers to help out the weekend of July 15 and for years to come. If you are interested in volunteering and giving back, you can contact Kathy Hess directly at her phone number, (304) 838-2868.