LINDSBORG — As a need arose for a Special Olympics team in Lindsborg, Angela Price saw an opportunity and stepped up to the plate to create a team.

"Its been an idea that has been popping in and out of my head over the years and I just felt like this year we needed to finally do it," said Price, Lindsborg resident and team coordinator of the Smoky Valley Vikings Special Olympics team.

While the thought seemed daunting at first, Price noted it was relatively easy to create a team.

"We just called the state and they emailed the information to register our team and we filled out the paperwork. We also had a meeting in Lindsborg and we put an ad on Facebook and in the paper to see what kind of interest there was. We did have interest for both athletes, families and volunteers. So we went ahead and filled out the paperwork," she explained.

As the team is relatively new, parents are funding everything themselves.

"Many teams do fundraisers, and we may do that in the future. But since this is our first year, parents are funding uniforms, hotel rooms and other things too," Price said.

With the immediate and positive feedback, Price said she was amazed at how many individuals want to volunteer.

"We can always use coaches and assistant coaches from season to season. The season that's coming up is track and swimming. There's so many different events within track and field alone. We need a lot of coaches and assistant coaches to make that happen and there's so many different ways to volunteer," she said. "They can volunteer by going to our Facebook page, the Smoky Valley Vikings Special Olympics, and they can contact us through that. Then we will email them some information and will put them to work."

Athletes can also participate in bowling, volleyball and basketball, and sports will go by standard seasons.

Although the team is centered around the Lindsborg community, Price said anyone is welcome to join.

"Anyone can participate. We actually have at least one athlete coming from the Salina area as well," she said. "We are also working with the Smoky Valley school district and they granted us permission from the school superintendent to be the Smoky Valley Vikings and adopted their colors and logo. They're being very supportive of us and are allowing us to recruit students with special needs out of their school, which is really nice to have that support behind us."

For more information, visit the Smoky Valley Special Olympics team Facebook page. 

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.