Keesler welcomes its 34th Annual SOMS

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Trenten Walters
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Keesler is hosting this year’s Special Olympics Mississippi Summer Games, held May 13-15, after a two year pause due to COVID-19.
For 34 years Keesler has hosted this three-day event with SOMS to empower special needs athletes around the state.
“This event showcases the strong partnership between Keesler and the local community, encouraging lasting friendships to form across the state,” said Capt. Patrick Noyes, 335th Training Squadron force support training flight commander.
Athletes, their families and their coaches will arrive at Keesler and be paired with two of the 800 to 1000 volunteer sponsors from the base and community. The sponsors will act as wingmen for the athletes during the games, making sure they get to events on time and their needs are met.
The SOMS 2022 games will begin with a torch lighting ceremony Friday evening.
On Saturday, the athletes will compete in a variety of sports, such as flag football, swimming, track, golf, powerlifting and more.
SOMS will conclude with closing ceremonies on Saturday evening and athletic teams will depart Sunday morning.
“I can remember the first time I volunteered to help with SOMS as a young Airman,” said Master Sgt. Richard Jones, 81st Civil Engineer Squadron unaccompanied housing manger. “I saw how happy and excited the athletes were. I'm happy to be a part of this event and I think it’s pretty amazing that Keesler is hosting.”