The Highland Games, a Special Olympics track-and-field “fun” event, came to Bellevue on Saturday, May 17, with more than 225 participants from 11 teams throughout King County.
The event included 21 track events (both male and female races), and five field events. The meet started with the 1500M race at 9:50 a.m. and finished with the 4x100M Relay by 3 p.m.
The event is sponsored and conducted by the Bellevue Kiwanis Club.
In addition to the competition, meet organizers served 350 lunches, and only had 30 left over. A total of 30 raffle prizes after the games.
Participating teams included: Tahoma Bears, Seattle Runnin’ Eagles, Ingrahm Rams, Kent Sprinters, Issaquah Eagles, Bellevue Speedsters, Angle Lake Ducks, Federal Way Schools, Auburn Park Striders.
The Highland Games came into existence when Kiwanis members realized that there was a place for a “fun event” in which all participate place and receive a ribbon.
The annual meet was being held every year in Bellevue, but one of the unfortunate results had always been that over three-fourths of the participants would not score or place high enough to qualify for the state meet, which meant that the Bellevue meet would be their only opportunity all year to compete.
The Bellevue Kiwanis Club decided to focus on the fun and the opportunity to interact and participate with the club’s high school Key Club partners. The games were named the Highland Games in honor of Bellevue’s Highland Center.
In 2008, members from the Bellevue Overlake Rotary Club and the Kiwanis Key Club members from Newport, Bellevue and Sammamish high school volunteered to ensure the events success.