Special Olympics is seeking volunteers to help with the Missouri State Summer Games set for May 20-22 at Missouri State University.

More than 1,100 athletes and coaches from around the state will be in the city and a variety of volunteer opportunities are available. More than 600 volunteers are needed to make this event possible, so if you’re interested in volunteering to keep time, escort athletes, take photos, etc., visit the website to sign up today.

The State Summer Games officially kick off at 7:30 p.m. May 20 with the Opening Ceremony at Hammons Student Center on the MSU campus. The ceremony will feature the Parade of Athletes, the culmination of the statewide Law Enforcement Torch Runâ, the lighting of the Flame of Hope and the traditional declaration. The event is free and open to the public.

Competition events - powerlifting, volleyball, soccer, aquatics and track and field - all take place at MSU beginning at 9 a.m. May 20 and ending with the last event at 1 p.m. May 22.

The organization also is on a mission to put “fans in the stands” to cheer for the athletes. Even if you can only stay an hour or two, the athletes will appreciate your support from the stands or the sidelines working alongside them.

Venues and times are as follows:

Volleyball – Hammons Student Center

  • 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 20

Track & Field – Betty and Bobby Allison South Stadium

  • 7 a.m.-4 p.m. May 21
  • 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. May 22

Aquatics – Hammons Student Center

  • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 21.

Powerlifting – Hammons Student Center

  • 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. May 21

Soccer – Betty and Bobby Allison South Stadium

  • 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 20

Special Olympics is dedicated to improving the overall health and fitness of athletes, not only through organized sports training and competition but by also providing free health screenings through the Healthy Athletes program. FUNFitness, Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes and Special Smiles are provided for SOMO athletes free of charge.  The Healthy Athletes Park will be from 12-4 p.m. May 21 at the Hammons Student Center.

For more information about volunteering at the 2016 State Summer Games, visit www.somo.org to sign up or email Austin Rippeto at Rippeto@somo.org.

For more information about the games, contact Brandon Schatsiek at 573.635.1660 or email schatsiek@somo.org and visit the Special Olympics Missouri website at www.somo.org.

You can also support Special Olympics Missouri’s State Summer Games by attending a Springfield Cardinals game on May 19 or Aug. 14. Both days have been declared Special Olympics Missouri games at the ballpark and $10 gets you in to see one of the Special Olympics’ athletes throw out the first pitch on May 19 or a chance to bid on Springfield Cardinals game-worn Route 66/SOMO jerseys on Aug. 14. Tickets are available for purchase through Carol Griffin at Griffin@somo.org.

Please visit www.somo.org/summer to make a donation, register to volunteer and for more information.