KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Special Olympics Missouri is partnering with KCPD’s Police Athletic League for a weekend of friendly competition and learning.

“It gives them a sense of purpose, it gives them a sense of discipline, it gives them a sense of achieving something,” coach James Smith said.

The organization hosted its first-ever KC Sports Experience on Friday and Saturday, teaching children and adults with intellectual disabilities about teamwork, socializing and physical fitness.

“We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves, right?” Christina McDonough-Hunt with Special Olympics Missouri said.

Athletes were able to try different sports like bocce ball and pickleball, learn from coaches and make new friends.

“You can look at them and see their smiles and realize just how good it makes them feel inside about themselves and how it is a learning lesson for all sides involved,” Police Athletic League’s Sgt. Susie Fabian said.

To learn more about Special Olympics Missouri, visit somo.org.