Little Feet Meet takes over Falls Church

Hundreds of athletes took over Meridian High School in Falls Church on Friday, and the fiercest competitors had the smallest feet!

It’s called the "Little Feet Meet," an event four years in the running where general education elementary-aged students pair up with classmates who have special needs.

The teams train for three months and then the pairs, from at least nine different schools across Northern Virginia, all gather to compete at Meridian High School for the big, Special Olympic-style competition.

FOX 5 spoke with Bush Hill Elementary School sixth grader, Essete, who is paired with classmate, Hasaan.  

Hasaan’s smile lit up the field, he was so excited!

"He’s a really great partner," Essete told FOX 5, "We’ve gotten really far from like not being able to throw anything to getting into the target. Yeah, he’s gotten really better, and it’s really nice to get to work with him."

"It’s really nice to get to know someone that’s like different from how I am, so I can like learn different perspectives, and know how to deal with a lot of different situations," she added.

Meridian High School's assistant principal Rob Carey told FOX 5: "The energy, the smiles on our faces, the volunteers, the Falls Church City Public Schools volunteers, it is really a team effort."

"Yeah, and I mean the goal of the Feet Meet is really to do really a few things," said Virginia Special Olympics, Potomac Region Director, Joe Smith. "One is to get all of the athletes and students an opportunity to maybe try something new, get out of their comfort zone. And then, alongside that, make a connection with maybe a young person they haven’t met before; meet someone from another school and kind of get to know their peers within the community, within the area."

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Little Feet Meet takes over Falls Church

The event kicked off with Falls Church City Police Sgt. Fallon Norloff and two students lighting the torch. 

One of the students assisting is a Meridian High School freshman, Preston, who also excitedly hyped up his fellow athletes before the games.

The event includes 15-20 different competitions and social games. It’s also an introduction to the actual Special Olympics.

Every student in this competition is a winner. The prize is a priceless experience that will stay with the athletes forever.