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This article was contributed by Adam Breen, communications manager with San Benito High School.

The 13th annual Gifted Games, which allows students with special needs a chance to experience the thrill of athletic competition, will be held at Gilroy High School on Friday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event that began as a way to allow 30 Life Skills students from San Benito High School to compete in Olympic-style events has become a community-wide celebration of hundreds of special needs student-athletes from around the area. Special Education teacher Tania Sauer said there are at least 430 athletes registered from San Benito and Santa Clara counties, ranging in age from kindergarten through high school.

The Gifted Games alternates between SBHS and Gilroy High School most years, though it was held in Gilroy in 2017 because of storm damage to Andy Hardin Field and will be at GHS this year and next as a new stadium is constructed in Hollister.

“I've visited all the classes attending in Hollister and students are really looking forward to the event,” Sauer said. “I had the the chance to train some of the classes in the events that we will be doing. Students in the Life Skills program have been training in the events as well and we have been counting down the days! I'm really looking forward to hosting the event here in 2020 so that we can include more of our Baler community.”