Unified Field Day benefits Special Olympics Arizona

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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Competition brought out the best in people Saturday in Chandler. Unified Field Day helped raise money for Special Olympics Arizona.

"I want to try all of them because I love doing sports, I've done them ever since I was little," said 14-year-old Peyton Spencer. He said he loves running, but that's not the only thing that draws him here. It's also the people.

"You get to talk with other people you don't know and you get to meet them and then you make new friends and socialize more," Spencer said. 

175 athletes filled the fields at Tumbleweed Park Saturday. 

"I hang out with my friends, like family now," said Chylene Johnson. She said just because they're all friends here, doesn't mean she didn't come to win. She competed in 4 events at Unified Field Day.

"Track, basketball, bocce ball and bowling," she said.

"It's the simple form of play that unites all of us," said Isaac Sanft with Special Olympics Arizona. He said seeing the relationships grow here is moving. 

"It's the fact that they're going to the movies together on the weekend, they're getting invites to go to sleepovers sometimes for the first time sadly," he said.

Law enforcement agencies in Arizona are a big player in this, also; last year, they helped raise nearly $1.5 million. Thanks to the help of the local businesses and volunteer groups that get involved, these friendships can continue to grow. 

"It's all about inclusion, it's about celebrating the greatness in all people including people with disabilities," Sanft said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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