CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Special Olympics annual spring games are in full swing.

The games kicked off Tuesday morning at Charlotte Country Day School.

About 11,000 atheletes across Mecklenburg County will compete through Wednesday in events like track and field, softball and aquatics.

This marks the 30th year the school is hosting the games. Students and faculty members serve as buddies, coaches and cheerleaders.

According to David Ball, Dean of Students, his students at Charlotte Country Day get as much out of the games as the atheletes do.

Well we definately get a great deal out of it, I think especially in terms of the element of service. And I think that it gives our students a chance to be exposed to a population that they normally woudln't be exposed to.

This is senior Jack Hamerick's 4th year helping out. I think just being out here and looking at the looks on these kids faces and how happy they are, it shows how important it is, he said.

The games go until 1:30 Tuesday and then pick back up Wednesday.

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