The fourth biennial Bullis Charter School Invitational Junior Olympics drew a crowd of nearly 1,000 student-athletes and spectators June 1 at Foothill College.
The event is the only athletic competition of its kind in the area for students who attend charter schools. In addition to Bullis Charter School, participating schools included Charter School of Morgan Hill, Livermore Valley Charter School, Voices College-Bound Language Academy, Rocketship Discovery Prep and Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary School.
“I can’t believe how amazing this event is,” said Sandra Lopez, parent of a student at Voices College-Bound Language Academy. “This is such a wonderful opportunity for all the children to experience something of this caliber – it feels like the real Olympics.”
Darcie Green, member of the Santa Clara County Office of Education Board, kicked off the event by welcoming the crowd during the opening ceremony, which featured a performance of the “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the entrance of all student-athletes onto the track and a choreographed rhythmic gymnastics routine starring students from first through eighth grades. Students carried a ceremonial Olympic torch, which traveled to all of the competing schools in the weeks leading up to the event.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to bring charter schools together for an event that promotes athletics and sportsmanship,” said Wanny Hersey, superintendent and principal of Bullis Charter School. “It is important for us to work together with our fellow charters not just in improving academic education for children, but in developing the whole child through events like this that incorporate goal-setting, resiliency and strong character.”
The daylong competition included traditional track and field events plus an egg and spoon race, a beanbag toss, a soccer-kick battle and a basketball shootout. Four local Olympians handed out medals to the event winners – including gold medalist Keshia Baker, who won the 4x400-meter relay at the 2012 Summer Games in London.
“I love that I get to come out here and support something that I enjoy doing and to see students and parents participating in activities that encourage a healthy lifestyle,” Baker said. “It’s important that it doesn’t end here, but that families go home and keep running, jogging and being active.”
Charter School Invitational Junior Olympics 2014 -Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier