SEARCY, Ark. – The 2023 Arkansas Special Olympics will kick off this week at Harding University, bringing athletes and coaches from around the state to compete.

Opening ceremonies will be held Thursday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. at First Security Stadium, located at 1529 E. Park Avenue. The competition will begin on May 19 at 9 a.m. Athletes will compete in sports including track and field, bocce, swimming, flag football, powerlifting and tennis.

All events, excluding swimming, will take place at Harding University’s Bison Lane. The swimming events will be held at the Searcy Swim Center located at 525 Recreation Way.

According to its website, the Arkansas Special Olympics is a yearly competition of various Olympic type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Event officials said that more than 1,400 athletes and coaches are anticipated to attend the event. The event is open to the public.

For more information on the Arkansas Special Olympics, visit