If you’re going
• What: Fourth Annual Battle of the Bats
• When: Opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with games from
9:30 a.m. to about 7 p.m.
• Where: Central Park, 2300 Keith Bridge Road
• Cost: Free; concessions and raffle tickets available for purchase
Some 300 Special Olympic athletes will gather Saturday in Forsyth County for the Fourth Annual Battle of the Bats softball tournament.
“We have 25 teams from three states,” said organizer Linda Fitzpatrick of Special Olympics Forsyth. “We’ll have at least 500 people at Central Park with the more than 300 athletes and their families.”
The opening ceremony is set for 8:30 a.m. and first pitch will be thrown about 9:30 a.m., Fitzpatrick said, noting that competitive play will continue all day at the park.
“We’ll be there until at least 7 o’clock Saturday night,” she said. “It’s free to attend and cheering fans are welcome.”
All the proceeds from the event will go to Special Olympics Forsyth County, which provides a range of sporting activities throughout the year for local students and adults with mental and physical challenges.
Concessions will be for sale and raffle tickets will be available for $5 each.
Fitzpatrick said raffle prizes include a 42-inch LCD television, two tablet computers, airline tickets and “a host of other gifts.”
She said spectators who aren’t familiar with Special Olympic events are in for a treat.
“People shouldn’t think that because it’s a Special Olympics tournament that these athletes aren’t very competitive,” she said. “I think people will be pleasantly surprised at the level of competitive play, but I also think they will walk away a changed person, realizing that these kids have to struggle in order to compete.”
Fitzpatrick said every athlete will receive a trophy.
“That’s our commitment in hosting the tournament is that every athlete leaves with a trophy,” she said.
She also thanked the event’s sponsors, especially the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department.
“They’re always very supportive and excited for the tournament,” she said.
Fitzpatrick encouraged spectators to come not, noting that they likely won’t be disappointed.
“The art of sportsmanship is something that you will definitely see. That makes it just a joyous, fun-filled day.”